Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 97-118

First online:

Daughter-in-law's burden: An exploratory study of caregiving in Japan

  • Phyllis Braudy HarrisAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, John Carroll University
  • , Susan Orpett LongAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, John Carroll University

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This exploratory study examines home caregiving of elderly family members in rural central Japan. The extent of the daughter-in-law's involvement with severely cognitively and physically impaired relatives is discussed within the context of traditional co-residence patterns. Findings from a preliminary survey, interviews and observations indicate limited modification of the physical environment, high levels of burden, and utilization of the limited respite services available. Despite expectations that daughters-in-law will care for the elderly, voices for change are growing louder.

Key Words

cross-cultural studies home care parent-adult child relationships Japan