The Rise in Individualism in Japan: Temporal Changes in Family Structure, 1947-2015

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The present research examined whether Japanese culture became more individualistic between 1947 and 2015 by investigating temporal changes in indicators of family structure. Previous research has shown that Japanese culture has become more individualistic. However, the amount of research investigating temporal changes in individualism in Japan is small. Thus, it is important to examine whether Japanese culture has become more individualistic by investigating indicators that have not been used in previous research. Therefore, indicators of family structure that have been validated as indices of individualism were used to examine whether people came to live more independently from other family members. Analyses indicated that the rate of people living alone, the rate of nuclear households, and the divorce rate increased, while the rate of three-generation households and the household size decreased. These results showed that family structure became more individual-based in Japan, suggesting that Japanese culture changed toward greater individualism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1219-1226
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • cultural change
  • economy
  • family structure
  • individualism
  • social ecology
  • temporal change
  • wealth


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