Intergenerational Coresidence and Married Women’s Life Satisfaction

Shiro Furuya , University of Wisconsin-Madison
James M M. Raymo, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Intergenerational coresidence has declined, but remains a distinguishing feature of Japanese family relations. The “traditional” aspect of family organization has been adapted to meet the needs of families in contemporary Japan. However, far less attention has been paid to the ways in which tension and stress generated by the incompatibility of these established family norms and expectations with contemporary needs and attitudes may be detrimental to the well-being of family members, especially wives. This is surprising in light of a long and rich history of anecdotal depiction of the trials and tribulations of women coresiding with their husband’s parents. The lack of empirical information on intergenerational coresidence and married women’s well-being in Japan motivates us to evaluate the relationship between intergenerational coresidence and married women’s well-being. Preliminary analyses provide suggestive evidence consistent with anecdotal characterizations of the stress and strain associated with one “traditional” feature of Japanese family organization.

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 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions