Vol.29,No.3 March, 2014

Title
Important types of social networks for subjective well-being among older Japanese: Gender and age variations
Author
Erika KOBAYASHI and Taro FUKAYA(Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology)
Yoko SUGIHARA(Faculty of Family and Consumer Sciences, Kamakura Women’s University)
Hiroko AKIYAMA(Institute of Gerontology, The University of Tokyo)
Jersey LIANG(School of Public Health, University of Michigan)
Summary
This research examines how the linkages between different types of social networks and subjective well-being(SWB)vary across gender and age through structural equation modeling. Data came from a nationwide survey for older adults conducted in 1999 (N=3,482). SWB was measured by life satisfaction and depressive symptoms. A three-factors model for social networks showed a good fit, consisting of child contact, informal contact with friends and neighbors, and social participation related to groups/volunteer activities. The effects of four types of networks (i.e., spouse and the three factors) on SWB were compared among the 4 gender×age groups. Gender differences were more prominent among the young-old (63–74 years old) than the old-old (75 and over), namely, the effects of being married and social participation on life satisfaction were greater for males than females, whereas informal contact was more important for female life satisfaction and depression. Among the old-old, the association between child contact and SWB was stronger than among the young-old. Further research is needed to ascertain whether the age differences result from aging and/or cohort variations.
Key words
well-being, informal network, social participation, young-old, old-old
Title
Effects of competitive and noncompetitive intergroup relationships and own/in-group members’ feedback on consensus estimates
Author
Mie TAMURA(Kobe City University of Foreign Studies)
Summary
Competitive and noncompetitive relationships were imposed between the two experimentally created groups according to the minimal-group paradigm. The 236 university participants received feedback either of their own success or failure performance outcomes, or an in-group member’s success or failure performance outcomes. Control participants received no performance feedback. The results showed that participants given feedback of their own performance outcomes perceived high consensus for outcomes similar to their own in the in-group (false consensus effect), but not in the out-group both in competitive and noncompetitive intergroup conditions. Participants given feedback of an in-group member’s performance outcomes perceived high consensus in the in-group, while they perceived low consensus in the out-group. This contrast pattern was more salient in the competitive than the noncompetitive intergroup condition. These results revealed interactive effects of intergroup contexts and feedback information on consensus estimates.
Key words
consensus estimates, intergroup relationship, self, in-group member
Title
The negative impact of psychological encouragement as enacted social support on the mental health of lightly damaged victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake
Author
Yoshiya SHIOTANI(Japan Society for the Promotion of Science)
Summary
The purpose of the study is to examine the impact of received social support on the mental health of victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. An Internet survey was conducted on September 9, 2011. Participants were victims of the disaster aged 18–69 years who lived in Miyagi prefecture (N=1,000). Depression was measured using the Japanese version of K6. Types and times of social support received within one month from the earthquake were measured. Samples were divided into lightly damaged victims (n=781) and severely damaged victims (n=219). Statistical analyses showed that cases who received “psychological encouragement” tend to have depression after half a year of the earthquake only in the case of lightly damaged victims. Controlling for stressful events such as the death of family members and depression in the one month following the earthquake, psychological encouragement maintained a significant effect on depression for half a year from the earthquake. The mechanism that produced this correlation was explained in terms of the ambiguous and unstable identity of lightly damaged victims of the disaster.
Key words
the Great East Japan Earthquake, psychological encouragement, depression, ambiguous identity of lightly damaged victims
Title
The social construction and dissociation of “ijime” (bullying) in Japanese newspaper articles: A postpositional particle analysis
Author
Ichiro YATSUZUKA(Kumamoto Unieversity)
Summary
Changes in the usage of the verb “ijimeru” (to bully) and the noun “ijime” (bullying) in Japanese newspaper articles were investigated. Full-text searches and postpositional particle analysis were performed on issues of three major Japanese newspapers published between 1987 and 2011. The passive form of ijimeru (to bully) was used much more often than was the active form during the entire period investigated. During several specific years, the noun, ijime (bullying), appeared as a subject very frequently, but this trend was not consistent, and the number of articles containing this word decreased in most of the other years. Ijime (bullying)refers to an action that occurs independently of any particular actor. As such, it would be expected to appear frequently during any period of time. However, the word is construed to refer to suffering endured by an unlucky passive victim or to rare events such as natural disasters. The dissociation of the denotation from the actual usage of ijime (bullying) as well as the use of the term ijime (bullying) more generally are discussed from the perspective of social representations.
Key words
newspaper articles, discourse analysis, postpositional particle analysis, “bullying”, social representation
Title
The influence of older adults’ activities at a Silver Human Resource Center in Japan on their life satisfaction: Validation of the activity theory of aging
Author
Jun NAKAHARA(Japan Society for the Promotion of Science/Tokyo Woman’s Christian University)
Summary
This study aims to verify the hypothesized intrapersonal process, grounded in the activity theory of aging, whereby the activities of elderly people at Japan’s Silver Human Resource Centers have a positive impact on their life satisfaction by developing a positive role identity and self-esteem. For this purpose, a survey was conducted among 279 elderly people belonging to the Silver Human Resource Center of I City. Path analysis showed significant relationships between frequency of activities at the center and role identity as a worker at the center, role identity and self-esteem, and self-esteem and life satisfaction. The findings validate the activity theory of aging.
Key words
Japan’s Silver Human Resource Center, elderly people, activity theory of aging, role identity, life satisfaction
Title
Generalization of the mere exposure effect through peculiarity of handwriting
Author
Naoaki KAWAKAMI(Faculty of Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba)
Tadashi KIKUCHI(University of Tsukuba)
Fujio YOSHIDA(Faculty of Applied Psychology, Tokyo Seitoku University)
Summary
It is known that the mere exposure effect generalizes to the previously unseen letter strings that are similar along certain abstract dimensions (i.e., artificial grammar) to the exposed letter strings. We examined the generalization of the mere exposure effect through peculiarity of handwriting. Participants were repeatedly exposed to a set of handwritten words in Japanese hiragana. In a subsequent test phase, they were assigned to one of two conditions (same-word condition vs. changed-word condition). Participants who were assigned to the same-word condition were required to rate the handwritten words identical to the previous exposure phase, and those who were assigned to the changed-word condition rated the previously unseen words handwritten by the same person. The results showed that the mere exposure effect occurred not only for the same-word condition but also for the changed-word condition, while the effect under the changed-word condition was weak compared to the same-word condition. This means that the mere exposure effect generalized to the novel letter strings with the same handwriting previously exposed. The implications and future directions are discussed.
Key words
mere exposure effect, handwriting, generalization, peculiarity