Factors associated with loneliness among mothers with 4-month-old or 18-month-old infants in an urban area in Japan.

Miki Sato, Etsuko Tadaka, Azusa Arimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The factors associated with loneliness in adults and elderly people have been revealed in previous studies. However, much less is known about these factors for mothers with infants. This article investigates the individual and environmental factors associated with loneliness among mothers with 4-month-old or 18-month-old infants in an urban area in Japan. This cross-sectional study was conducted using a self-reported questionnaire survey. Multiple linear regression analyses were undertaken with loneliness (UCLA Loneliness Scale Version 3) as the dependent variable; and demographics, individual factors (internal working model, child-care burden), and environmental factors (social network) as independent variables. The study population consisted of 125 mothers with 4-month-old infants and 123 mothers with 18-month-old infants who visited a Ward B health center in city A in 2012. Mothers of the 4-month-old infants with higher loneliness scores were significantly more likely to have an ambivalent type (β=.354, P<.001) or avoidant type (β=.331, P<.001) of internal working model, greater child-care burden (β=.180, P<.05), and a smaller social network of family (β=-.144, P<.05) and child-rearing friends (β=-.255, P<.01). Mothers of 18-month-old infants with higher loneliness scores were significantly more likely to have lower subjective health (β=-.191, P<.01), an ambivalent type (β=.297, P<.001) or avoidant type (β=.190, P<.05) of internal working model, greater child-care burden (β=.283, P<.001), and a smaller social network of child-rearing friends (β=-.213, P<.01). To prevent loneliness in mothers, it is important to build mothers' human relations through childcare, to enhance their ability to take advantage of childcare while receiving support, and to support community organizations for mothers with infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
Journal[Nihon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health
Volume61
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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