Social capital as protective factor of Japanese students' mental health: Comparison between schools in Japan and Japanese schools overseas

[Speaker] Saito, Ayumi:1
[Co-author] Aoki, Kikuyo:1, Koshi, Megumi:1, Asahi, Kae:1, Kobayashi, Minoru:2
1:Ochanomizu University (Japan), 2:Kyoto University of Education (Japan)

The population of Japanese students living abroad has been steadily increasing. Several studies have reported social capital as a protective factor of students' mental health (e.g. Sun & Stewart, 2007). This study investigated the functioning of social capital that is focused on the community connectedness for Japanese students in Japan and overseas. There were 724 participants in Japan and 880 participants in Japanese schools overseas all from grades 4-9. The study collected self-reported responses to variables of mental health; resilience; relationships with friends, family, and teachers; school connectedness; and community connectedness as social capital. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to test the relationships between students' mental health and various protective factors. Statistically significant differences were found between the two groups. Results suggest that the functioning of community connectedness as a protective factor for students' mental health differs according to cultural contexts.
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