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Mothers' challenges with the parental control of 3-year-old children in Japan: A qualitative study

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Title: Mothers' challenges with the parental control of 3-year-old children in Japan: A qualitative study
Authors: Onishi, Ryuta Browse this author
Saeki, Kazuko Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Hirano, Michiyo Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Keywords: parental control
3-year-old children
qualitative research methods
Issue Date: 14-Jul-2019
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Journal Title: Child care health and development
Volume: 45
Issue: 4
Start Page: 531
End Page: 539
Publisher DOI: 10.1111/cch.12666
PMID: 30983020
Abstract: Background Parents often struggle against the negativism of 3-year-old children in exerting parental control. Although most research on parental control is from western cultures, Japanese mothers may face unique challenges because of their sociocultural background. We therefore explored mothers' challenges in exerting parental control over 3-year-old children in Japan. Methods A descriptive qualitative approach was adopted. The participants were 10 Japanese mothers with children aged 3-4 years. We conducted individual semistructured interviews and analysed the data via qualitative content analysis. Results We found four categories and a structure of the challenges mothers faced in exerting parental control. Mothers' control attempts had four main intentions, each with a different subject (i.e., the children, themselves, the family, and society). Most challenges with parental control stemmed from mothers' "consciousness of parental responsibility." In confronting the child in their attempts to exert parental control, mothers perceived a "struggle with the child's negativism," which led them to recognize that they could not find a correct method of discipline. Furthermore, in the face of conflicting roles, mothers experienced "confusion in seeking the righteous answer as a parent." Some mothers began to feel that they were discovering their maternal role in their own way rather than finding a correct answer, which formed a "conviction that my own parenting is not incorrect." Conclusions The challenges mothers faced in exerting parental control over their 3-year-old children served as a turning point for them to reflect on themselves as parents. However, due to societal monitoring of parents and mothers' multiple roles in the family, it can be difficult for mothers to fully overcome the challenges of parental control. It is necessary to foster social capital in the community to which the mother belongs and to create an atmosphere in which community members can watch over parents warmly.
Rights: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Onishi, R, Saeki, K, Hirano, M. Mothers' challenges with the parental control of 3‐year‐old children in Japan: A qualitative study. Child Care Health Dev. 2019; 45: 531– 539, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Type: article (author version)
Appears in Collections:保健科学院・保健科学研究院 (Graduate School of Health Sciences / Faculty of Health Sciences) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

Submitter: 大西 竜太

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