Family Structure and Well-Being at Older Ages in Japan

Raymo, James M.

Journal Article written by 2002 Abe Fellow James Raymo based on his project "Family Context of Work at Older Ages in Japan and the United States." Co-authors include Saeko Kikuzawa, Jersey Liang, and Erika Kobayashi. 

The family structure of older Japanese is projected to change dramatically as a result of very low fertility, increasing levels of non-marriage, childlessness, and divorce, and declining intergenerational co-residence. To provide an empirical basis for speculation about the implications of projected increases in single-person and couple-only households, we use two sources of data to describe relationships between family structure and the physical and emotional well-being of Japanese men and women aged 60 and above. We find that marriage is positively associated with self-rated health and emotional well-being among older men but not women. In contrast to expectations, however, we find only limited evidence that the presence of children contributes to well-being. Taken as a whole, our results suggest that declines in marriage may have negative implications for the well-being of older Japanese men while the implications of declines in fertility and intergenerational co-residence may be less than popularly believed.

Title
Family Structure and Well-Being at Older Ages in Japan
Author
Raymo, James M.
Published
Journal of Population Research, October 2008
On the web
Citation
Raymo, James M., "Family Structure and Well-Being at Older Ages in Japan," in 25, ed. (Journal of Population Research, October 2008), http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03033896, 3, 379-400.