Project Summary

The purpose of this research is to study a sample of midlife adults from the Tokyo metropolitan area. Respondents complete a questionnaire that obtains information about sociodemographic characteristics, psychosocial characteristics, and health. These measures parallel those obtained in a national longitudinal sample of midlife Americans. Thus, a central objective is to compare the Japanese study (MIDJA) with the U.S. study (MIDUS) to test the hypothesis that well-being and health in Japan are predicted by an interdependent model of self, whereas in the U.S., health and well-being are predicted by an independent model of self. Nonetheless, based on pilot findings that compare Japanese and U.S respondents, we also predict cultural similarities in various age profiles of well-being (e.g., declining scores with age on purpose in life). A second major objective of this study is to collect biomarkers on approximately half of the Japanese sample. Parallel biological data collection is in progress via Project 4 of the MIDUS II P01. Thus, in both cultures we will examine linkages between psychosocial factors and biology to test the hypothesis that interdependent measures of self are more strongly linked with biomarkers in Japan, while independent measures of self are more strongly linked with biomarkers in the U.S. We also predict cultural similarities in age and gender profiles on the various biomarkers. The overarching goal is to combine these various domains of assessment to analyze integrative pathways (combining sociodemographic, psychosocial, and biological information) to health.


National Institute on Aging


  • Shinobu Kitayama

Project Period

2012-02-01 - 2018-01-31