Introduction It is often reported that spouses accompanying husband posted overseas suffer from depression and husbands end up returning to Japan with spouses. Although previous studies have confirmed that spousal stress response and self-esteem depend on the length of stay, the presence/absence of children, language barriers, no studies have reported on the associations with these factors based on length of stay.
Objective The purpose of this study is to elucidate the relationship between spousal stress response and presence/absence of children and language barriers, based on length of stay by comparing their status before and after moving overseas.
Method An internet survey was conducted with spouses in December 2016 (n=123). A multiple regression analysis and multi-population analysis were performed with stress response and self-esteem scores as dependent variables, and length of stay and presence/absence of children (Model 1), language barrier (Model 2) as independent variables.
Results In Model 1, for spouses who had moved overseas less than 1.5 years, presence/absence of children was related to ‘impatient feeling,’ ‘feelings of fatigue,’ ‘feelings of anxiety,’ ‘depressed mode,’ ‘physical complaints,’ and ‘self-esteem.’ In Model 2, ‘physical complaints,’ ‘feelings of fatigue,’ and ‘feelings of irritation’ were found to be related to presence/absence of children in spouses who had moved overseas less than 1.5 years. Moreover, ‘depressed mode’ and ‘feelings of anxiety’ were found to be related to presence/absence of children and language barriers. No factors were related to stress response and self-esteem in spouses prior to moving overseas or between 1.5–3.0 years after moving overseas.
Conclusion Stress response after moving overseas was found to be stronger in spouses with a stay of less than 1.5 years, who had children and faced a language barrier. The results suggest the necessity for early support after moving overseas
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