The family: a comparative study about perceptions in young Mexicans and Japanese

Mario Alejandro Salgado Reveles


Introduction: The aim of this study is to analyze the perception of Japanese and Mexican university students with regards of the family: the obedience of children towards their parents, the most beloved family member, the father’s role in the family, who takes care of the parents when they become older, communication, expression of feelings and family gathering.

Method: The chosen method was a survey questionnaire with multiple answers under a Likert Scale, the first instrument (Izawa and Salgado, 2015) consists of 40 questions and was applied to 94 Mexican and 94 Japanese university students in the city of Tijuana, Baja California Mexico and in Joetsu in Niigata Japan; the second instrument (Chávez, Katano, Lee, and Salgado, 2015) consists of 18 questions and was applied to 44 Japanese and 44 Mexican university students. The above study does not intend to form stereotypes but to show the effects that culture can have on the personality through the perception people have about the family. Both questionnaires had an expert evaluation table that yielded results from a binomial test lower than the significance level of 0.005, as far as reliability was concerned a test-retest was conducted, the internal consistency of Cronbach's Alpha coefficient in the first questionnaire was .754 and in the second of .880.

Results: The questions that showed a higher level of correlation in both nations were: "Spouses tend to flatter features of their wife's personality in public" with "spouses tend to flatter their wife's physical features in public." The aspects where Japanese and Mexicans concur more are the following: current generations do not wish to be like their father when they reach adulthood; The disciplinary style is not authoritarian in obedience or punishment; In both cultures 4 out of 10 fathers play a minimal role in child-rearing; domestic chores are usually performed by women regardless of whether they work or not.

Discussion: Although Mexicans tend to spend more time with their families, the Japanese give greater importance to family reunion when they gather to eat, it´s the moment in which they have the opportunity to talk about how their day was. On the other hand, Mexican parents express their feelings more between them, men usually flatter to a greater extent the physical and personality attributes of their wife and they express “I love you” with more frequency than Japanese do. Finally, unlike the father, in both cultures the mother is the one who is usually in charge of the discipline and of house chores, she also spends more time with the children, and those might be some of the reasons she is the most beloved and trusted family member.


Family; Mexican; Japanese; culture


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