A Study on the Phenomenon of Divorce in Hong Kong
Divorce is increasingly common in Hong Kong but systematic studies on the phenomenon have been rare. The Hong Kong University Family Institute (HKUFI) started a Project on Children in Divorce Families in late 2010, collecting data from 900 cases, 300 each from 1999, 2004 and 2009 with the approval and assistance of the Family Court. The collection, coding and draft analysis of data was completed in late 2012.
In the light of the increase of divorce cases and their profound impact on children and families, The Family Council sponsored the Department of Social Work and Social Administration and CSRP of the University of Hong Kong to conduct a study titled “A Study on the Phenomenon of Divorce in Hong Kong” in May 2012 and has asked the Central Policy Unit to help commission and oversee the study.
This is a comprehensive study where both quantitative and qualitative data have been adopted to examine this issue. It aims to identify and understand the demographic and socioeconomic patterns and the trend of divorce, the risk and protective factors, the impacts of divorce on the affected individuals and the needs of divorced families in Hong Kong.
This study used several research methods to optimize the understanding of the divorce phenomenon in Hong Kong. Aside from conducting a thorough literature review on divorce issues and interventions in other countries, we have included three other research methods: (i) a study of the demographic and socioeconomic profiles of divorced people and their families based on data collected from the Family Court and Census and Statistic Department, (ii) interviews of forty-one people who were considering divorce, filing for divorce, or already divorced, and those in marital conflicts, and (iii) two focus groups with frontline professionals who were handling divorce cases. The quantitative analysis was based on (i) a total of 1,200 case files obtained from the Family Court (900 case files were collected by the HKUFI, and 300 additional cases in 2011 were captured for a close surveillance of the recent development), and (ii) three Census year micro-set data (2001, 2006 and 2011) for tracking the phenomenon at a macro scale.