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Childhood Adversity and Adulthood Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Japan

  • Takashi Oshio

    ()

  • Maki Umeda
  • Norito Kawakami
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    In this study, we examined the impact of childhood interpersonal adversity on adulthood subjective well-being (SWB), with a focus on the mediating and moderating effects of social support and socioeconomic status (SES). We concentrated on parental maltreatment (abuse and neglect) and bullying in school as childhood adversity variables and on perceived happiness and self-rated health as adulthood SWB measures. Our empirical analysis was based on micro data from a survey in municipalities in and around the Tokyo metropolitan area (N = 3,292). We obtained four key findings. First, the experience of childhood adversity had a substantial negative impact on adulthood SWB. Second, social support and SES significantly mediated the impact of childhood adversity. Third, however, a large proportion of the impact of childhood adversity remained unexplained by their mediation effects. Fourth, social support and SES did not moderate the impact of childhood adversity. Hence, we can conclude that childhood adversity affects adulthood SWB in a relatively independent manner rather than being substantially mediated or moderated by social support or SES. Accordingly, social policies should aim at reducing incidents of childhood maltreatment and bullying in addition to helping people enhance levels of social support and SES in later life. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10902-012-9358-y
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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Happiness Studies.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 843-860

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:14:y:2013:i:3:p:843-860
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    1. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
    3. Lindsay M. Pitzer & Karen L. Fingerman, 2010. "Psychosocial Resources and Associations Between Childhood Physical Abuse and Adult Well-being," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 65(4), pages 425-433.
    4. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
    5. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Takashi Oshio & Shinpei Sano & Miki Kobayashi, 2009. "Child poverty as a determinant of life outcomes:Evidence from nationwide surveys in Japan," Discussion Papers 0911, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    7. Takashi Oshio & Shinpei Sano & Miki Kobayashi, 2010. "Child Poverty as a Determinant of Life Outcomes: Evidence from Nationwide Surveys in Japan," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 99(1), pages 81-99, October.
    8. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    9. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
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