Mothers of young children stressed out by disasters, survey shows


TOKYO (majirox news) — Mothers raising pre-school children have been placed under higher levels of stress due to the March 11 disasters, according to a survey by Benesse Corp.

More than 70% of the 3,096 women raising pre-school children reported that their children “frequently” or “sometimes” became “annoyed or irritated,” a 16.8 percentage point increase over an identical poll conducted in March last year.

A similar 70.4% of mothers said they had “frequently” or “sometimes” had “concerns about being able to raise your child well,” a result 10 percentage points higher than last year’s survey.

Keisen University Graduate School Prof. Masami Ohinata, who specializes in development psychology, told the Sankei newspaper the results reflected the effects of the disasters and subsequent concerns raised by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

“Mothers are probably more stressed out about whether they’ve made the right decisions about vegetables or water or letting their children play outside because of the fears of radiation contamination,” Ohinata said. “It’s important for (mothers) to have a human network that’s not easily visible, and fathers and society must turn their thoughts toward them.”

Benesse conducted the online survey in May among 3,096 women raising children aged from under 1 to 5-years-old. The women were asked about their children’s behavior immediately following the March 11 disasters and again what they were like after two months had passed.

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