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East-West Center Awarded $414,952 from National Institutes of Health to Study Family Change in Japan
HONOLULU (Dec. 11, 2008) – The East-West Center (EWC) received a grant of $414,952 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development to support on-going research in Japan on family change. The multi-year study, “Innovations in Early Life Course Transitions,” focuses on the interplay of structural societal change, individual behavior and attitudes, and the emergence of an altered family institution in Japanese society.

“The project is designed to advance our understanding of the forces and mechanisms leading to broad-scale change and realignment in family and fertility behavior,” stated East-West Center Senior Fellow Minja Kim Choe, “as well as related values, norms, roles and institutions.” The research examines changes in attitudes towards non-traditional family behaviors, as well as changes in marital happiness, divorce, family intentions, cohabitation, and late marriage.

During the past half century, a variety of changes in marriage, fertility, and child rearing have occurred throughout most of the industrial and post-industrial world. These changes have dramatically affected family life ranging from the well-being of children to the fiscal viability of government–run old-age pension schemes.

These family behavior changes, often referred to as the “second demographic transition,” occurred in a context of major structural changes in the economy, education, and other institutions.  This study is being conducted in Japan where the second demographic transition is occurring later, thus enabling the research team to further examine the process and analyze the associational and causal factors behind such broad-scale family change.

For more information, please contact East-West Center’s Director of Research Nancy Davis Lewis at (808) 944-7245 or via email: [email protected], or EWC Senior Fellow Minja Kim Choe at 808-944-7475 or via email: [email protected]                                                           ###

The EAST-WEST CENTER is an education and research organization established by the U.S. Congress in 1960 to strengthen relations and understanding among the peoples and nations of Asia, the Pacific, and the United States.  The Center contributes to a peaceful, prosperous and just Asia Pacific community by serving as a vigorous hub for cooperative research, education and dialogue on critical issues of common concern to the Asia Pacific region and the United States.  Funding for the Center comes from the U.S. government, with additional support provided by private agencies, individuals, foundations, corporations, and the governments of the region.