Psychosocial Health

Psychological Health of Adolescents

Adolescence is the period of transition between childhood and adulthood. During this time, adolescents experience rapid physical, psychological and social development, and they also face difficult questions and decisions about their identity, relationships, education and the future. While adolescence is a time of disorientation, it is also a time of discovery as adolescents can learn more about themselves and develop problem-solving, emotion management and interpersonal skills.

Psychological Features of Adolescents

Not every young person will experience adolescence in the same way, but there are a number of normal development tasks that all adolescents will face, including:

  1. Seek to establish a sense of self

    • Become self-conscious about their physical changes and have increased concerns regarding body image
    • May experiment with a range of behaviours, activities and roles in search for their identity (e.g., different styles of dress, different peer groups)
    • Begin to develop a set of personal values and morals
  2. Strive for independence

    • Want to assert more autonomy over their decisions, emotions and actions
    • Challenge adult authority and want to disengage from parental control
    • Crave privacy and personal space
  3. Feel the need to be socially accepted

    • Have a strong need to fit in with their peers and seek peer approval
    • May engage in inappropriate behaviors under peer pressure
    • Influence of the family starts to fade and peer group takes over as the main socializing force
  4. Increased moodiness and restlessness

    • Mood can fluctuate between excitement, anger, anxiety and depression due to hormonal changes and the strong need for conformity and acceptance
    • May exhibit impulsive and inconsistent behaviours
  5. Show interest in dating, intimacy, and sex-related experimentation

    • Have increased interest in the opposite sex and may experience feelings of romantic or sexual attraction
    • Issue of sexual orientation and identity can also arise at this time

Self-help Tips for Adolescence

Given all the changes and challenges in adolescence, it is not uncommon for adolescents to feel stressed, lost or even frustrated. If these emotions are not well managed, they may find it difficult to navigate through their daily life, school and interpersonal relationships. Adolescents can use the following self-help tips when encountering some of the common stressors in adolescence:


Self-identity Self-help Tips
  • Who am I?
  • Do I look good?
  • Am I good enough?
  • Accept yourself as you are and avoid comparing yourself with others
  • Identify and build on your strengths and abilities
  • Participate in more activities to explore your abilities, interests and talents
Relationship with family members Self-help Tips
  • How can I improve relationship with my parents?
  • How can I get along well with my brothers and sisters?
  • Take the initiative to communicate with family members
  • Express your love and appreciation in words and actions
  • When conflicts arise, agree to negotiate and work as a team to find a solution
Education and the future Self-help Tips
  • How can I do well in school?
  • Should I choose work or further education?
  • Will I be successful?
  • Explore effective learning strategies and ask questions if you encounter difficulties
  • Break tasks into small and manageable pieces
  • Set clear and realistic academic and personal goals
Friendship and love Self-help Tips
  • How can I develop and maintain friendships?
  • Should I start dating?
  • Participate in group activities more frequently to broaden your social circle
  • Treat friends with sincerity and honesty
  • Pursue common interests
  • Avoid being peer pressured into dating or using dating as a way to show off
  • Talk to somebody you trust or consult a social worker when you encounter problems related to romantic relationships

Counselling Hotline Services

The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
"Youthline" 2777 8899
Mon-Sat    2:00 pm to 2:00 am

Breakthrough Counselling Centre
Counselling Service 2377 8511 (Make appointment for counselling)
Mon, Wed to Fri 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
2:00 pm to 8:00 pm
(except public holidays)

Hong Kong Young Women's Christian Association
Counselling Hotline 2711 6622
Mon-Fri    7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Caritas HUGS Centre
Counselling Hotline for Young Psychotropic Substance Abusers
2453 7030
Mon-Fri 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sat 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
(except public holidays)

Hong Kong Christian Service
PS33 Counselling Service for Psychotropic Substance Abusers
2368 8269
Mon 2:00 pm to 6:00pm
Tue-Fri 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
(except public holidays)

Hong Kong Caritas Family Service
(24 hours)

The Samaritan Befrienders HK
Emotional Support Service
2389 2222
(24 hours)

Hospital Authority Mental Health
2466 7350
(24 hours)

* Please consult respective organisations for the most updated information.

(Revised in June 2022)

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