How Japanese children become independent from their parents

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Do you usually go out as a family on days off? graph of japanese statisticsThis is a very interesting survey from iShare, looking at the subject of children becoming independent from their parents and vice versa.

Demographics

Between the 3rd and 6th of December 2010 1,088 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service with a child aged 15 years old or younger completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 80.1% of the sample were male, 43.6% in their thirties, 52.3% in their forties, and 4.1% in their fifties.

I don’t think I particularly hated going out with the parents when I was a child, nor do I remember any definite time in my schooldays where I felt I had broken away from them; however, I suspect my mother might have a completely different answer looking at it from her side!

Note that in Q3SQ, almost all Japanese schoolchildren (as far as I know!) take lunchboxes to school and are expected to have their mid-day meal in the classroom, whereas when I was a kid most people who were within walking distance of the school went home for lunch.

Research results

Q1: Do you usually go out as a family on days off? (Sample size=1,088)

 AllMale
N=872
Female
N=216
Often (to SQ)55.6%54.7%59.3%
Sometimes (to SQ)33.7%34.4%31.0%
Almost never10.7%10.9%9.7%

About two-thirds of those in their thirties often go out together, but it drops to below 50% of those in their forties and fifties.

Q1SQ: Where do you often go out as a family to on days off? (Sample size=972, multiple answer)

 AllMale
N=777
Female
N=195
Shopping centre87.2%86.9%88.7%
Large park38.6%37.1%44.6%
Nearby park38.6%38.0%41.0%
Parents’ home37.2%37.5%36.4%
Department store25.4%25.6%24.6%
Sea, mountains, river, other natural location24.7%25.5%21.5%
Zoo22.5%23.4%19.0%
Amusement park21.1%22.1%16.9%
Hot springs20.8%21.4%18.5%
Aquarium17.6%17.5%17.9%
Other7.3%6.7%9.7%

Q2: Which of the following places where you took your children did they seem to enjoy the most? If you have more than one, answer for the oldest one. (Sample size=1,088)

 AllMale
N=872
Female
N=216
Amusement park24.4%24.9%22.2%
Sea, mountains, river, other natural location15.5%16.6%11.1%
Large park11.5%11.0%13.4%
Zoo7.5%8.1%5.1%
Shopping centre7.0%7.0%6.9%
Aquarium7.0%6.7%8.3%
Hot springs6.5%6.2%7.9%
Nearby park5.4%4.9%7.4%
Overseas holiday4.2%4.1%4.6%
Department store0.8%1.0%0.0%
Other6.7%6.3%8.3%
No particular place they seemed to enjoy3.4%3.1%4.6%

Note that in Q1SQ there was “parents’ home” as an answer, but in Q2 it seems to have been replaced by “overseas holiday”.

Q3: Do you find long holidays for the children quite frankly a pain? (Sample size=1,088)

 AllMale
N=872
Female
N=216
Very much so (to SQ)9.7%6.4%22.7%
A little (to SQ)36.4%33.5%48.1%
No54.0%60.1%29.2%

Q3SQ: What do you find is a pain? (Sample size=501, multiple answer)

 AllMale
N=348
Female
N=153
Have to prepare more meals47.7%31.9%83.7%
Home gets noisy44.9%48.9%35.9%
Have to take them with me when I go out35.7%35.3%36.6%
Have less time for myself34.9%31.3%43.1%
Home gets messy34.1%31.9%39.2%
Have to help with homework, study22.0%20.7%24.8%
Other children come round to play12.4%12.6%11.8%
Clothes to wash increases5.6%5.7%5.2%
Other4.6%4.9%3.9%

Q4: Up to what age was your child joyful to be going out with their parents? If you have more than one, answer for the oldest one. (Sample size=1,088)

 AllMale
N=872
Female
N=216
Up to five years old1.4%1.6%0.5%
Up to eight years old8.8%8.8%8.8%
Up to eleven years old41.4%42.0%38.9%
Up to fifteen years old34.7%34.1%37.0%
Sixteen years old or older13.8%13.5%14.8%

Q5: Did you ever get to an age when you hated going out with your parents? (Sample size=1,088)

 AllMale
N=872
Female
N=216
Yes (to SQ)56.1%59.4%42.6%
No43.9%40.6%57.4%

Q5SQ: At what age did you most hate going out with your parents? (Sample size=610)

 AllMale
N=518
Female
N=92
Up to five years old0.2%0.2%0.0%
Between six and eight years old0.2%0.2%0.0%
Between nine and eleven years old3.3%2.9%5.4%
Between twelve and fifteen years old48.4%48.1%50.0%
Sixteen years old or older48.0%48.6%44.6%

Q6: Which do you think is/will be earlier, you growing away from your child or your child growing away from you? If you have more than one, answer for the oldest one. (Sample size=1,088)

 AllMale
N=872
Female
N=216
Definitely child growing away (to SQ1)12.9%13.4%10.6%
Perhaps child growing away (to SQ1)52.4%50.3%60.6%
Perhaps me growing away (to SQ2)29.5%30.8%24.1%
Definitely me growing away (to SQ2)5.2%5.4%4.6%

Q6SQ1: Why do you think your child growing away from you will be earlier? If you have more than one, answer for the oldest one. (Sample size=710, multiple answer)

 AllMale
N=556
Female
N=154
Child’s sense of independence, decision making power is developing34.6%37.4%24.7%
Child is much more interested in friends, school activities, the outside world in general rather than the family unit27.2%27.3%26.6%
Don’t have any confidence that I, spouse can grow away from my child24.9%22.1%35.1%
Child hates interference from parents21.7%23.7%14.3%
Child is not very clingy to parents12.1%12.2%11.7%
Even when we ask our child to come out shopping, etc they don’t come8.7%8.8%8.4%
Child doesn’t have much contact with parents within the home1.0%0.9%1.3%
Other8.3%7.4%11.7%

Q6SQ2: Why do you think you growing away from your child will be earlier? If you have more than one, answer for the oldest one. (Sample size=378, multiple answer)

 AllMale
N=316
Female
N=62
I, spouse are currently trying to grow away from our child41.0%40.5%43.5%
Child is quite clingy to parents23.3%21.8%30.6%
Child has a strong sense of dependence on parents21.7%20.9%25.8%
Child’s sense of independence, decision making power is not developed16.1%16.5%14.5%
Child asks to come along shopping, going out with parents14.6%15.2%11.3%
Child is not really interested in friends, school activities, the outside world in general6.3%7.0%3.2%
Other6.3%5.4%11.3%

Q7: With which family member does your child talk the most? If you have more than one, answer for the oldest one. (Sample size=1,088)

 AllMale
N=872
Female
N=216
Mother75.3%74.7%77.8%
Brothers, sisters12.9%13.9%8.8%
Father8.6%8.7%8.3%
Other3.2%2.8%5.1%
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1 Comment »

  1. Phil Connors said,
    August 8, 2011 @ 12:38

    Japanese children eat school lunch through middle school unless they have a medical reason not to. Beginning in high school, they bring bento or buy food from a convenience-type store.

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