2007 Volume 12 Issue 3 Pages 506-518
This study targets the increasing population of Japanese mothers with young children abroad. To find out about transcultural stress and child rearing stress factors and the mental health of Japanese mothers living in New York, 400 questionnaires and a GHQ 30 were distributed to Japanese mothers in New York and to a counter-group in a city in Japan. 192 anonymous questionnaires were collected by post (response rate 48%), 191 of which were subjected to statistical analysis. The mental health of the mothers in New York and the mothers in Japan was found to be poor for different reasons. One third of the mothers who responded may be in need of professional help. There were significant correlations between poor mental health, child rearing, dissatisfaction with life, isolation, and lack of support. More than half of the mothers in New York found child rearing abroad was stressful. Almost 90% of all mothers felt that their husbands were stressed because of their work, and there was a strong correlation between poor mental health and dissatisfaction with the husband's contribution to child rearing. Support for child rearing and adaptation to the new life will be helpful for mothers who are raising children abroad.