HKBU launched a new website on 22 September to raise public awareness of how materialistic values can affect the well-being of children and youth.

 

The website (http://digital.lib.hkbu.edu.hk/materialism/) is an outcome of a project led by Professor Kara Chan of the School of Communication’s Department of Communication Studies, who is also a member of the American Psychological Association. This online platform about materialism among children and youth shares the survey data and questionnaires of seven quantitative studies on materialism conducted in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore and Macau, as well as drawings and interview transcripts of four qualitative studies conducted in Hong Kong, Mainland China and Macau. 

The survey findings indicate that the main drivers of materialistic value orientations are social comparison of possessions and peer communication about consumption. If the respondents were given an amount of $100, those who had high scores for materialistic values were more likely to spend money on themselves, and were less likely to donate or save. Meanwhile, studies of children’s drawings show that even young children are able to identify the associations between material possessions, personalities, and friendship. 

"We hope educators and parents will pay attention to how materialistic values play an important role in a youngster's life. Young people often do not have the economic means to satisfy all their wants and are vulnerable to overspending and entering into debts. The website provides advice for parents on how to educate children on financial decisions and planning,” said Professor Kara Chan.

"The website was jointly developed by the Digital Scholarship Services of the HKBU Library. This digital scholarship project uses advanced digital technologies to present academic information and data which readers will find visually stimulating and insightful,” explained Ms Rebekah Wong, Senior Assistant Librarian and Head of Digital and Multimedia Services.