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Metrics details. Higher left-handedness prevalence has been reported in males and in twins.

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This study investigates the ways in which parental care and parental control affect adolescents' character strengths in the areas of authenticity, bravery, perseverance, kindness, love, social intelligence, fairness and self-regulation. The basic premise is that these two parental bonding factors may have different effects on adolescent outcomes.

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To test this conjecture, we use survey data collected from a territory-wide sample of Chinese adolescents recruited from 17 secondary schools located in different districts of Hong Kong. The support our hypotheses that parental care and parental control have ificantly positive and negative effects, respectively, on the above character strengths.

In addition, the indicate that gender has ificant effects on authenticity, bravery, kindness and love whereas age has ificant effects on kindness and fairness. The implications of the findings for further research and service provision are discussed. According to the VIA Institute, character strengths are personality traits, which refer to psychological processes that define the specific aspects of personality that are morally valued Park, These positive core characteristics of our personality are different from the strengths of our innate talents and abilities or the strengths of external resources and support.

Although each of these areas of strength are important, character strengths provide a pathway for developing each of these areas. The VIA-Youth has shown evidence of reliability and validity. From research, character strengths in adolescents have been associated with other desirable outcomes, such as subjective well-being, life satisfaction, fewer symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation, leadership, ability to delay gratification, altruism and a reduction in problems with substance use, alcohol abuse, smoking and violence Gillham et al. However, there is little agreement about how these positive personality traits can be effectively nurtured.

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Hence, systematic research on key factors conducive to character strength development is needed to guide the development of effective character education programs. Specifically, this line of investigation contends that the quality of care provided by parents, particularly their sensitivity and responsiveness to children, le to a secure or insecure relationship, which in turn predicts later development by setting in place adaptive or maladaptive life trajectories. In contrast, insecure attachment increases the risk of social and emotional difficulties, which can be as diverse as problems in self-regulation in infancy to peer rejection and anti-social behaviour in childhood and adolescence Greenberg, The empirical study of the relationship between parenting experiences and adolescent outcomes has been greatly facilitated by the development of reliable and valid measures of parental bonding.

Although a variety of such measures have been developed, the parental bonding instrument PBI developed by Parker, Tupling, and Brown has been the measure most widely used. A of studies have investigated the reliability and validity of this instrument, with good.

In addition, independent reports, parents' own assessments and twin studies indicate that the instrument measures real experiences and not simply retrospectively projected qualities of the relationship with parents Stewart et al. Studies that use the PBI have found associations between reports of parental bonding and various measures of adolescent development. Single asian girls near china hong kong nj example, a study conducted in Norway finds that students who report low levels of parental care and high levels of parental control are more likely to display symptoms of anxiety and depression in the General Health Questionnaire than other students Pedersen, These studies show a consistent trend, suggesting that PBI factors are associated with poor developmental outcomes, including anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and delinquency.

Most studies of PBI factors and adolescent development have been conducted in Western cultures. It should be noted that there are different views on the applicability of the Western-based PBI factors of parental care and parental control to other socio-cultural contexts. For example, Chao suggests that Chinese families score highly on the control dimension of parenting because control is considered an element of parental endearment and caring, rather than a negative attribute.

In contrast, Lin and Fu note that in comparison with their Western counterparts, Chinese parents are somewhat more restrictive because of the greater degree of cultural endorsement of parental authority in China than that prevalent in Western countries. However, patterns of within-culture relationships between parental care, parental control and adolescent development in the Chinese context may be similar to those observed in Western societies. Given the above considerations, in the present study, we examine the connection between PBI factors and character strengths in a territory-wide sample of Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong to assess the applicability of Western dimensions of parental care and parental control and their effects on adolescent development.

studies of PBI factors and adolescent development seem to have placed a greater emphasis on negative adolescent symptoms such as anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Thus far, research into whether parental care and parental control constitute general risk factors or play different roles in terms of their effect on specific aspects of adolescent development is inconclusive Pedersen, In this study, we examine the relative ificance of these PBI factors in the development of character strengths. Drawing on past findings on parental care, parental control and character strengths, the following hypotheses emerge: H1 Parental care has a positive relationship with adolescents' character strengths.

In testing these two hypotheses, it is necessary to control for the adolescent's gender, as past research has shown a consistent pattern of gender differences in character strengths, parental care and parental control among adolescents. For instance, in a study of adolescents in the USA, Park and Peterson find differences between genders in terms of character strengths: girls score higher than boys for fairness and kindness but lower than boys for bravery, and these are similar to their findings for adults.

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Regarding the PBI factors of parental care and parental control, Pedersen finds that Norwegian boys tend to perceive their parents as both less caring and more controlling than girls do. Likewise, in their study of Australian adolescents, Rigby et al. Given the consistent pattern of past findings on gender differences, in evaluating the effects of parental care and parental control on adolescents' character strengths, we control for the effects of gender and other demographic variables.

In this study, we use a survey de for which the data were collected via a structured questionnaire. The participants were Chinese adolescents aged 11—20 recruited from 17 secondary schools located in different districts of Hong Kong. The sample selected was essentially a convenience sample.

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The choice of schools was influenced by the readiness of school personnel to facilitate our research. Parental consent was obtained after we had explained the purpose of the study and the procedure to be followed.

There was no obligation to participate in the study and an assurance of confidentiality was given in a covering letter before recruitment.

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The questionnaire was administered in a single class session in which the participants were asked to complete the questionnaire anonymously before returning it to their teachers or our project assistants, who had been trained in the applicable administrative procedure. Of the adolescents invited to participate in the study, returned questionnaires. The response rate of All of the questionnaires returned were complete and could be used for data analysis. As the original VIA-Youth consists of items measuring 24 character strengths, it created a great challenge in data collection, as school personnel only allowed us to implement the survey questionnaire in a single class session.

We selected 69 out of the items of the VIA-Youth to study eight character strengths, authenticity, bravery, perseverance, kindness, love, social intelligence, fairness and self-regulation, which according to studies were ificantly associated with desirable adolescent outcomes such as subjective well-being, life satisfaction, leadership and altruism Gillham et al. The PBI used in this study is composed of 25 items, 12 parental care items and 13 parental control items, to measure parental bonding as perceived by adolescents Parker et al.

The aforementioned measures were pre-tested using a sample of 30 adolescents recruited from a secondary school. Feedback was also sought from five experienced social workers to enhance the applicability of the questionnaire to our research population. The reliability of each measure was assessed using Cronbach's alpha. The final measures used in this study and their reliabilities are presented below.

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This was the average score for eight items on the character strength of speaking the truth and presenting oneself in a genuine way. Scores for negative items were recoded and added to those of positive ones. The same procedure was applied to all of the other character strength measures used to assess bravery, perseverance, kindness, love, social intelligence, fairness and self-regulation, and for the PBI factors, including parental care and parental control. The composite score for the eight items yielded an alpha reliability coefficient of. This was the average score for eight items on the character strength of not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty or pain.

This was the average score for nine items on the character strength of finishing what one starts and persisting in a course of action in spite of obstacles.

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This was the average score for nine items on the character strength of doing favours and good deeds for others. The composite score for the nine items yielded an alpha reliability coefficient of. This was the average score for nine items on the character strength of valuing close relationships with others. This was the average score for eight items on the character strength of being aware of the motives and feelings of self and others and knowing what to do to fit in different social situations.

This was the average score for nine items on the character strength of treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice. This was the average score for nine items on the character strength of regulating what one feels and does, and being disciplined. This was the average score for 12 items on the PBI factor of parental care.

A high score on this measure reflects affection and warmth, whereas a low score indicates rejection or indifference. The composite score for the 12 items yielded an alpha reliability coefficient of. This was the average score for 13 items on the PBI factor of parental control. A high score indicates overprotection and prevention of independent behaviour, whereas a low score on this measure reflects allowance of independence and autonomy.

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The composite score for the 13 items yielded an alpha reliability coefficient of. The last section of the questionnaire comprised questions deed to elicit demographic data of the participants, including age, gender, educational level, household size, parental marital status, public assistance use and monthly family income.

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These background characteristics served as control variables in the regression analysis of character strengths. Table 1 shows the sample characteristics of the adolescents who participated in the study. Of the participants, The majority of the participants CSV Display Table.

Table 2 provides the means and standard deviations for all of the variables used in the study.

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Authenticity, bravery, perseverance, kindness, love, social intelligence, fairness and self-regulation were the key outcome variables. Parental care and parental control were the key predictor variables.

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All of these variables had means around the midpoint of their scale ranges and had considerable degrees of variation. Essentially, the distribution of each of the outcome variables i. Simple correlations between the key variables provided a preliminary form of support for our hypotheses.

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Hence, parental care and parental control were distinct from one another, despite their apparent similarity as measures of parental bonding. This moderate correlation indicated that a t analysis of parental care and parental control through regression analysis was appropriate Morrow-Howell, Table 3. A second form of preliminary support for the hypotheses emerged from the comparison of for male and female respondents. These are in line with our hypotheses on gender differences in parental care and parental control.

To test the hypotheses, a regression analysis was more appropriate when it was used to examine the predictors simultaneously and control for ificant background characteristics through stepwise selection.

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