Objective: This study aimed to clarify the association between sense of filial responsibility, local residents’ subjective economic status, and attachment to the local community, and to contribute to local community policies and measures including support systems for elderly in need of care and family.
Methods: We conducted in-home interviews in 2015 in Okinawa, Japan. A total of 2,663 local residents were selected, and after invalid responses were excluded, 1,656 responses (62.2%) were analyzed. Participants were asked about demographic variables (sex, age, marital status, birth order, subjective health, living arrangement), subjective economic status, attachment to the local community, and sense of filial responsibility (such as caring for and supporting their elderly parents).
Results: Age, marital status, birth order, and attachment to the local community were positively associated with sense of filial responsibility. Participants with low subjective economic status had low sense of filial responsibility. Even if subjective economic status was low, participants with high attachment to the local community had significantly high sense of filial responsibility. Moreover, participants with high attachment to the local community provided and received more instrumental support than participants with low attachment to the local community.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that high attachment to the local community can form a support system in local areas, and that support systems in turn help local residents when they support their parents. In light of these findings, measures for creating networks between local residents, as well as improvement of the physical environment, are necessary for local community planning.