Dr. Holthus on Parental Well-being

From left to right: Hiroki Igarashi and Mike Dziesinski (doctoral students in sociology), Prof. Pat Steinhoff (sociology), Dr. Barbara Holthus,
Prof. Mire Koikari (women’s studies), Dr. Robin O’Day (postdoctoral fellow in sociology), Shinji Kojima (doctoral student in sociology).

On Friday, October 5, Dr. Barbara Holthus reported the first findings of a comparative study of parental well-being in Japan. Dr. Holthus, Deputy Director of the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo, holds several degrees, including a Ph.D. in Sociology from UH. Dr. Holthus explained that despite a declining birthrate and changing lifestyles, married couples still represent the dominant form of families in Japan. She offered evidence of the effect of economic tensions on well-being and highlighted the gender gap in the division of household labor. Married men, on the whole, seem more satisfied than women, especially with regard to the division of household labor and childcare. A gender gap persists with regard to household labor in both actual and idealized situations. The rich data set, gathered earlier this year, is only just beginning to be explored. This seminar was co-sponsored by CJS, Sociology, and the UH Center on the Family; audience members from the three units filled the Tokioka Room and shared in the discussion.