To announce the result findings of the “FAMILY Project cohort study: A population-based household survey”, a press conference was held by the FAMILY Project on 3 December 2012 and it attracted a wide media coverage. The study shows that more than 60% of the respondents enjoyed harmonious relationships within the family.
Specially designed questions were deployed to assess family harmony, with a view to understanding respondents’ relationships with family members and assessing the degree of harmony in the family. Sixty percent of respondents agreed that they enjoyed harmonious family relationships, scoring 75 or above, and 3% scored the maximum point of 100. This possibly reflects the strong attachment to family values in Chinese society.
To assess the level of social capital, the study examined respondents’ participation in their neighbourhood and in society at large. Just under half of the respondents regarded their neighbours as willing to help each other, and another 50% said they got along well with their neighbours. The analysis was carried out at the level of the “tertiary planning unit” (TPU), which is the basic unit used by the Government for town planning purposes. The whole territory of Hong Kong is divided into about 300 TPUs. The findings will provide useful data for the Government and non-governmental organisations in planning for and delivering local services.
Only 14% of respondents had taken part in voluntary service in the 12 months preceding the survey. Volunteering, a common indicator of social participation, remains low in Hong Kong as compared with other developed regions (e.g. Australia, the United States and Canada). Volunteers generally reported a better state of well-being than those who did not participate in volunteer activities.
The study also interviewed more than 1,000 new immigrants who settled in Hong Kong for shorter than 10 years. This study is aimed at understanding the extent of their integration into the community. 3% to 17% of interviewees reported past experience of discrimination since coming to Hong Kong, including being rudely or unfairly treated.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has invited the School of Public Health of The University of Hong Kong to collaboratively launch a project entitled “FAMILY: A Jockey Club Initiative for a Harmonious Society” with a HK$250 million donation. From March 2009 to March 2011, the 1st round of the “FAMILY Project cohort study: A population-based household survey” was conducted. The survey explored a wide variety of topics related to family Health, Happiness and Harmony (3Hs). The 2nd round household survey, a follow-up to the 1st, began in July 2011 and will continue for 24 months.