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Breaking Out of the Child-rearing Cell: Parental Outcomes from Participation in Japanese Playcentres

New Zealand Research in Early Childhood Education
Volume 13 (2010)

Abstract: Changing demographics of Japanese society since World War II has meant that fewer mothers of young children could rely on extended family networks to provide parenting advice and practical support. This has resulted in increasing isolation for these mothers or, as it has been termed in Japan, 'child-rearing in a cell'. Playcentres were introduced to Japan in 2002 as parent support initiatives to address this issue and help isolated mothers build support networks. This paper reports on a recent study which looked at the impact on Japanese mothers of participation in a Playcentre. The results showed the mothers were motivated to attend by the opportunity to participate alongside their children and it was this active involvement that resulted in the formation of strong social and support networks. Their parenting confidence was also increased through the formal and informal education opportunities offered. These are indications that Playcentre can be viewed as successful in providing a tool for a Japanese mother to 'break out of her cell' and re-connect with the community. The results were compared with the New Zealand study of adult participation in Playcentre (Powell et al., 2005) and found to be similar in the way support networks were generated. There were some differences in emphasis between the two countries due to the collectivist nature of the Japanese culture versus the more individualist New Zealand culture, and the nature of the different parenting discourses. Ongoing research on the impact of Playcentres in Japan would be useful to confirm these preliminary results.

To cite this article: Satoh, Junko and Manning, Suzanne. Breaking Out of the Child-rearing Cell: Parental Outcomes from Participation in Japanese Playcentres [online]. New Zealand Research in Early Childhood Education, Vol. 13, 2010: 17-28. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=737456717605399;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 1174-6122. [cited 25 May 17].

Personal Author: Satoh, Junko; Manning, Suzanne; Source: New Zealand Research in Early Childhood Education, Vol. 13, 2010: 17-28 DOI: Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1174-6122 Subject: Parenting; Child rearing; Child development; Parenting--Social aspects; Early childhood education--Parent participation; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Lecturer, Department of Early Childhood Education and Care Studies, Shukutoku Junior College, and President, Japan Playcentre Association

Database: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection