|Budget Amount *help
¥3,250,000 (Direct Cost: ¥2,500,000、Indirect Cost: ¥750,000)
Fiscal Year 2010: ¥910,000 (Direct Cost: ¥700,000、Indirect Cost: ¥210,000)
Fiscal Year 2009: ¥1,040,000 (Direct Cost: ¥800,000、Indirect Cost: ¥240,000)
Fiscal Year 2008: ¥1,300,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,000,000、Indirect Cost: ¥300,000)
The aims of this study were to (1) develop a short-form of the multidimensional CHS (Child-care Happiness Scale), which was developed by Shimizu et al. (2007), and (2) examine its reliability in order to increase general applicability. Mothers with infants younger than 6 years of age were asked to evaluate 41 items in the CHS that involved various situations which give rise to a feeling of happiness during child-care using a 5-point scale. We also used the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) and Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI), which measure psychological health, in order to confirm the validity of the short-form CHS (SF-CHS).
There were a total of 672 valid respondents. A factor analysis was performed on 41 items of the CHS, and then 16 items were selected for the SF-CHS, which consists of 3 factors : "joys of child-care," "connection with the child," and "husband's support." Items for the 3 factors had sufficiently high Cranach's α coefficients (0.81～0.86), which represent their intern
al consistency. There was a significant positive correlation between the SF-CHS and SHS. In contrast, there was a significant negative correlation with BDI. There was a decreasing trend for "joys of child-care" and "connection with child" with increasing mother's age. Furthermore, "husband's support" was higher for mothers whose youngest child was less than 1 year old than for those whose youngest child was 4 years or older, and lowest for mothers with only one child. Differences between the SF-CHS and original CHS, their practicality, and future issues were discussed. Our findings suggest an association between SF-CHS and psychological health. The conciseness of the SF-CHS allows immediate feedback to each mother of her child-care happiness profile. In the future, SF-CHS can be expected to become a useful resource for mothers to reflect on their feelings on child-care.
In addition,We developed and evaluated a six-session program over three months, each session lasting two hours, for mothers of infants in order to increase the level of happiness in raising their children. We conducted this program twice with nine to ten mothers per group. A total of 19 mothers participated in the program (experimental group). We evaluated psychological indicators (i.e., psychological scales) such as feelings of stress and happiness in raising children and self-esteem, as well as physiological indicators (i.e., autonomic nervous activity, brain waves, salivary chromogranin) such as levels of relaxation and stress. These indicators were assessed before participating in the first session of the program, after participating in the last session, and one month after participating in the last session.
Similar evaluations were made on a control group of 16 mothers who did not participate in the program. Contents of the program for enhancing feelings of happiness in raising children consisted of developing relationships by talking with others about oneself, reflecting on one's feelings towards one's children, value happy moments in raising children, recognize each other's hard work, affirm oneself and gain self-confidence, make a life plan, and have others listen to one's issues. In addition, each session incorporated deep abdominal breathing and stretching exercises for smiling. The effectiveness of the program was revealed by the psychological and physiological effects observed. Compared to before the first session of the program, psychological value for self-esteem (Yamamoto et al., 1982) was significantly higher after the last session of the program, while levels of stress in raising children significantly decreased, in the experimental group. In particular, we identified a significant decrease in levels of stress caused by anxiety about raising children. Physiologically, alpha-3 brain waves were significantly higher after the last session of the program than before the first session, indicating an increase in relaxation capabilities of participants. However, alpha-3 brain waves at one month after the last session of the program did not differ significantly from those measured before the first session and after the last session. Free description by the participating mothers demonstrated the following effects: "it was good to hear others' experiences," "I realized
I'm not the only one having a hard time," "this broadened my views," "I was able to reflect on my life," "I was able to view myself objectively," "I made friends," and "I was reassured of my love for my child." In the control group, no significant changes were observed. Less