The survey, which “Jockey SMART Family-Link Project” researchers at the HKU School of Public Health commissioned the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute to conduct, looked into the relationship between the ability to cope with adversity, family well-being and family services amid the pandemic.

It polled 7,438 adults via fixed-line telephones, mobile phones and online questionnaires from February to March.

Of the adults, 60 percent with a family monthly income of HK$40,000 or more, and the same percentage of adults with tertiary education or above as well as those from the 55-to-64 and 65-and-above age groups, said they had a high ability to manage adversity.

And 54 percent of all adults rated their ability to handle adversity as 7 or more on a scale of 0 to 10, most of which were female.

The younger the adults were and the lower their family monthly income was, the lower they rated their competency to cope with adversity, the survey found.

Associate professor at the School of Nursing Kelvin Wang Man-ping said there was a direct correlation between the ability to manage adversity and negative emotions.

“Those with higher competency to cope with adversity are less likely to be affected by negative emotions, such as anxiety and depression,” he said.

On the survey finding that older interviewees tended to have a higher ability to handle adversity, Wang said it might have to do with their rich life experience.

“Older people have faced more adversities in comparison, such as the SARS outbreak in 2003, therefore they know how to cope with the pandemic this time,” he said.

“But younger people, such as those studying or just joining the workforce amid the pandemic, might have faced more difficulties and blows.”