Association of childhood family environments with the risk of social withdrawal (‘hikikomori’) in the community population in Japan
Article first published online: 2 FEB 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2012 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume 66, Issue 2, pages 121–129, March 2012
How to Cite
Umeda, M., Kawakami, N. and The World Mental Health Japan Survey Group 2002–2006 (2012), Association of childhood family environments with the risk of social withdrawal (‘hikikomori’) in the community population in Japan. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 66: 121–129. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2011.02292.x
- Issue published online: 21 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 2 FEB 2012
- Received 15 October 2010; revised 16 October 2011; accepted 25 October 2011.
- risk factors;
- social class;
- social isolation
Aims: Hikikomori is a form of social withdrawal among those who retreat from social interaction for protracted periods of time. This study examines family-related childhood factors for hikikomori using the retrospective data derived from a population-based survey.
Methods: We derived data from World Mental Health Survey Japan. The subjects of this study were community residents aged 20–49 years (n = 708). Multiple logistic regression was applied to examine the association between the lifetime experience of hikikomori and childhood family environment, adjusting for sex, age, and respondents' history of common mental disorders.
Results: Father's high educational level (odds ratio [OR] = 6.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6–22.9), mother's common mental disorders (OR = 5.9, 95%CI = 1.1–33.3), and mother's panic disorders (OR = 6.6, 95%CI = 1.1–39.1) were significantly and positively associated with hikikomori after controlling for respondents' sex, age, and history of mental disorders.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that hikikomori cases are more likely to occur in families where the parents have high levels of education. Maternal panic disorder may be another risk factor for children to develop hikikomori.