Attitude Toward Elder Care : Comparison Between Japanese Students and U.S. Students
Elder Care (高齢者介護)
Attitudes toward care-giving (介護意識)
Care-giving services (介護サービス)
Comparison between Japanese students and U. S. students (日米学生比較)
While attitudes toward elder care are increasingly positive among youths in the West as the populations of elderly increase，the attitudes are said to be declining in Japan. As a way to understand the reasons for this phenomenon，data from 476 Japanese students and 362 U.S. students，a total of 838 responses，were collected. As a result，it was found that only 10% of the total students had experience living together with grandparents who needed care; thus，only a minority of the students had direct experience in their family caring for elder family members in their everyday life in their own homes. In addition，about half of these students reported their families utilizing services from outside to help care for elderly family members. The types of services，however，differed between the two countries: among the Japanese cases，the majority utilized day services and home-help services，while among the U.S. cases，visiting nurse services and home hospice programs were most frequently used. In general，students showed positive attitudes toward caring for their parents in the future. The U.S. students，however，displayed significantly more positive attitudes regarding this issue compared to the Japanese sample. Among Japanese students，those who had grandparents in need of care showed more positive attitudes toward the possible future care of their own parents. Among U.S. students，however，those who did not have grandparents in need of care were actually found to have more positive attitudes toward the possibility of caring for their own parents in the future than those who had grandparents in need of care. In addition，in regard to the gender role of care-giving，the U.S. students responded more traditionally than the Japanese students. Many U.S. students indicated specifically that "care-giving is a woman's task." Factors that crucially affect attitudes toward elder-care among the youths seem to include the amount and the type of publicly available services and the presence of (especially cohabiting) elderly family members in need of care. Future research needs to target and examine the youths who had experience being a part of a family giving direct care to elderly family members. With a more targeted examination，it will be made more clear how the experience and comprehension of the reality of elder care affects attitudes toward elder care among the young adult population (the next care-giving generation).