Single Motherhood and Children's Health and School Performance in Japan

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12 Scopus citations


This article examines the well-being of Japanese children in single-mother families relative to children living with both parents. Using data from three rounds of the National Survey of Households with Children, I first demonstrate that single mothers report their children to have significantly worse health and lower academic performance. I then estimate regression models to assess the extent to which these differences reflect single mothers’ economic disadvantage, difficult work circumstances, and worse health and experience of stressful life events. Results indicate that economic disadvantage is particularly important for understanding lower levels of well-being among the children of single mothers. I conclude by discussing potential implications of these results for linkages between family behavior and inequality in Japan and for the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-88
Number of pages25
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Japan
  • children's well-being
  • divorce
  • education
  • health
  • single parenthood


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