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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2007 Sep;62(5):S330-9.

Intergenerational coresidence of older adults in Japan: conditions for cultural plasticity.

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  • 1Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.



This study investigated individual-level conditions and prefecture-level contextual factors that enable and/or restrict intergenerational coresidence arrangements between older parents and adult children.


We implemented multinomial logistic regression within a hierarchical approach to compare traditional and nontraditional styles of intergenerational coresidence arrangements. Individual data (N = 3,565) came from the Nihon University Japanese Longitudinal Study of Aging. We supplemented these with information on socioeconomic and welfare characteristics of Japanese prefectures.


Whereas the traditional pattern of coresidence was primarily a value-driven arrangement, nontraditional coresidence was both a value-driven and a need-driven arrangement for older parents with limited physical abilities. Relatively strong economic conditions at the prefecture level were enabling factors for coresidence, whereas the greater per capita utilization of local welfare resources had both enabling and inhibiting effects on coresidence arrangements.


The differences between the two types of coresidence are consistent with a shift of intergenerational living arrangements in Japan from a preventive arrangement to a contingent arrangement for older parents in need. We suggest that intergenerational family traditions contain a great amount of plasticity to accommodate societal modernization by adapting to the changing cultural and socioeconomic contexts of the society.

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