Japan Data

Majority of Japanese Mothers Feel Lonely or Isolated Raising Children

Lifestyle Family

Child-rearing responsibilities typically fall to mothers in Japan, and many in this group say they feel alone and detached from society.

An online survey by Tokyo-based support organization Piazza of users of its local-community app found that a significant number experienced loneliness or isolation while caring for children. Piazza polled user with child-raising experience and received responses from 806 women, 172 men, and 20 people who did not reveal their gender, figures that reflect how child rearing duties in Japan still rest mainly on the shoulders of mothers.

Overall, 67.1% of respondents said they had “often” or “sometimes” experienced loneliness or isolation. By gender, women were more than twice as likely as men to experience child-rearing isolation at 74.2% as compared to 35.5%.

Child-Rearing Isolation and Loneliness

Feelings of loneliness and isolation were more prevalent among full-time housewives and househusbands at 78.0%, 10.85 percentage points higher than the overall total.

Child-Rearing Isolation and Loneliness by Occupation

The most common time parents experienced feelings of loneliness or isolation, mentioned by 58.1% of respondents, was when alone with their child or children. (Experts note that having few social contacts outside the home can lead to child-rearing isolation.) Other frequently mentioned factors that triggered negative emotions concerned the lack of opportunities to talk to other adults (46.0%) and difficulties being accepted by other parents in their immediate circle (36.1%).

Whereas 46.8% of the women described having few opportunities to speak to other adults, this was only the case for 21.3% of men. The difference may be related to the fact that men typically take a short period of paternity leave, limiting the time they spend at home alone looking after their child.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)