Why Are Japanese Youth More Satisfied Than before? : Structure of Youth Life-Satisfaction

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:15
Oral Presentation
Tomohiko ASANO, Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan
Life satisfaction is one of the important factors of well-being. According to several statistics, Japanese youth today feel much more satisfied with their life than before, despite deteriorating socio-economic conditions surrounding them. This study examines the factors which contribute to life-satisfaction among Japanese youth, and also investigates whether the combination of those factors could individualize their well-being, or it could encourage social and political participation against inequalities and contribute to the promotion of justice.
This presentation is based on quantitative analysis of the data collected in Tokyo and Kobe, two urban areas of Japan, in 2012. Respondents are randomly sampled from Basic Resident Register, aged from 16 to 49. We grouped those from 16 to 29 into youth and others into middle-aged.
In this study, we conducted a multivariate regression analysis, in which the dependent variable is life-satisfaction measured with 4 point scale. We put several variables supposed to affect the life-satisfaction into the model. To summarize the results;
1) Their life-satisfaction are sustained by mainly three factors: present life conditions, future prospect and intimate relationship.
2) In contrast, life-satisfaction among middle-aged respondents is sustained just by two factors: present life conditions and future prospect.
3) Life-satisfaction and intimacy, particularly good relationship with their friends, among youth do not affect the degree to which they participate in social or political activities.
The fact that youth satisfaction is sustained by intimate relationship seems to imply some risk that their well-being could be individualized or even privatized and that social and political participation could be discouraged. Results show that this is not the case. However, the participation rate among Japanese youth has been quite low for the last half century. A new way of participation should be developed along with the structure of their life-satisfaction.