Intergenerational coresidence and nearness in Korea and Japan: Unbalanced aspects of family changes

Keong Suk Park, Ik Ki Kim, Hiroshi Kojima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to explain similarity and difference in geographic proximity between elderly parents and their children in Korea and Japan. Using data sets from two nationally representative surveys conducted in Korea and Japan, this study examines the extent to which needs and kinship of elderly parents and regional constraints influence intergenerational coresidence and nearness. Results highlight a complex feature of intergenerational relationship in Korea and Japan. Advanced economic and health conditions of Korean elderly parents increase the likelihood of living with children. For Japanese elderly parents, however, coresidence with children is significantly likely to occur in response to their disadvantaged economic status. These results suggest that the elderly Korean are more likely than the elderly Japanese to lack not only economic and health resources but also opportunities in obtaining family support in a time of need. Characteristics of children, however, show a similar trend between the two societies. Both societies maintain a strong son preference for extended family living arrangement. Eldest children in both societies are more likely than their siblings to live with or near elderly parents. However, children of younger cohorts in both societies are significantly more likely than those of older cohorts to maintain a disperse geographic network indicating a significant change in family attitude among different cohorts. Finally, this study finds a more disperse family network among rural elderly parents than urban elderly parents in both societies reflecting the fact that massive rural-to-urban migration of young population has contributed to geographic segregation of kinship in these societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-115
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Japanese Sociology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Family change
  • Intergenerational coresidence
  • The elderly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Intergenerational coresidence and nearness in Korea and Japan: Unbalanced aspects of family changes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this