1991 年 4 巻 1 号 p. 8-22
The present study investigated the gender differences in proneness to cancer and cardiovascular disease as related to the ways of coping with stress in a parents-children relationship paradigm, by replicating the previous study of males (Shigehisa et al.,1989). Psychometric properties of desease-prone behavior patterns, stress coping strategies and modes of coping were intercorrelated among adolescent females and their parents, and analyzed in comparison with previous results of males and their parents. Results indicated: contrary to Western studies. cancer-prone behavior correlated with emotional nonrational way of coping regardless of gender or age, whereas cardiovascular disease-prone behavior correlated with emotional and rational ways of coping in males but with none of these in females. Thus cancer-prone Japanese were more emotional, cardiovascular disease-prone males were more rational and females were less emotional than those Westerners. Correlation differences by children's gender were greater in mothers than fathers. Stress-coping disease-proneness correlations were greater in mothers of sons than of daughters. Mothers related more than fathers to sons than daughters. Correlations suggested: females model more on mothers' cancer-prone behavior than males, mothers' cardiovascular disease-prone behavior (anger, hostility) enhances children's cancer-proneness (helplessness), and mothers' cancer-prone behavior enhances children's cardiovascular disease-proneness, (frustration, irritation). It was hypothesized that parents' direct modeling and positive reinforcement underlie adolescents' cardiovascular disease-proneness, and indirect modeling and negative reinforcement underlie cancer-proneness, as functions of gender. Interparental correlations indicated, contrary to parents-children relationships, intergender similarity, in that one behaves in accordance with another, a typical Japanese pattern as opposed to Western health-related behavior.