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Title: Need satisfaction and depressive symptoms among university students in Hong Kong during the COVID-19 pandemic : moderating effects of positive youth development attributes
Authors: Shek, DTL 
Dou, D 
Zhu, X 
Wong, T 
Tan, L 
Issue Date: Sep-2023
Source: In K. Yuan, Y. Bao, Y. Leng & X. Li (Eds.), The Acute and Long-term Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health of Children and Adolescents, p.54-66. Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA, 2023
Abstract: As studies on the mental health status of university students during the COVID-19 pandemic are almost non-existent in Hong Kong, we examined four research questions in this paper: What is the prevalence of depressive symptoms in university students in Hong Kong? What are the socio-demographic correlates of depressive symptoms? Do need satisfaction and positive youth development (PYD) attributes, including beliefs about adversity, psychosocial competence (resilience and emotional competence) and family functioning predict depression? Do PYD attributes moderate the predictive effect of need satisfaction on depression? We examined the above research questions using the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Revised (CESD-R) in 1,648 university students in Hong Kong. For PYD attributes, we utilized validated measures of Chinese beliefs about adversity, psychosocial competence (resilience and emotional competence), and family functioning. For need satisfaction, we used a measure derived from two focus group interviews involving university students. Results showed that 48.4% of the respondents (95% confidence interval = [45.9%, 51.1%]) scored 16 or above (i.e., “at-risk” for clinical depression). As predicted, age, gender, student status (local vs. international), and family financial hardship were significant socio-demographic correlates of depressive symptoms. Besides, need satisfaction and PYD attributes negatively predicted depression scores. Finally, multiple regression analyses controlling for gender, age, and student status as covariates showed that all PYD attributes moderated the impact of need satisfaction on depression. The findings reinforce the theoretical proposition that PYD attributes serve as important factors in protecting the mental health of university students during the pandemic.
Keywords: Beliefs about adversity
Depression
Family functioning
Positive youth development
Psychosocial competence
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
ISBN: 978-2-8325-3391-8
DOI: 10.3389/978-2-8325-3391-8
Rights: Copyright © 2022 Shek, Dou, Zhu, Wong and Tan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY)(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
The following publication Shek, D. T., Dou, D., Zhu, X., Wong, T., & Tan, L. (2022). Need satisfaction and depressive symptoms among university students in Hong Kong during the COVID-19 pandemic: Moderating effects of positive youth development attributes. In K. Yuan, Y. Bao, Y. Leng & X. Li (Eds.), The Acute and Long-term Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health of Children and Adolescents, p.54-66. Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA, 2023. https://www.doi.org/10.3389/978-2-8325-3391-8.
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