Association of festival observance with psychological distress in a rural Japanese community


Introduction: A growing body of evidence suggests that social capital improves mental health. However, the association between the observance of festivals and mental health has not yet been investigated in depth by public health researchers. The purpose of this study is to examine whether festival observance is associated with psychological distress. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 17,525 residents aged 40 to 79 who lived in a rural town in northern Japan. We assessed each participant’s psychological distress level, social capital and festival observance via a questionnaire. We performed multiple logistic regression analyses to examine the association of festival observance with psychological distress. Results: A total of 11,649 residents responded to this survey (a response rate of 66.5%). The group who responded that their community did not hold festivals was negatively associated with psychological distress, even after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics (OR = 1.71, 95% CI 1.49-1.97). After adjusting for both socio-demographics and social capital, the association became weaker, but was still significant (OR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.10-1.48). Conclusions: Festival observance was associated with psychological distress in a rural Japanese community. It seems that festival observance is a factor to be taken into consideration in mental health promotion in the community.

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Minamizono, T. , Kaneko, Y. , Minamizono, S. and Motohashi, Y. (2013) Association of festival observance with psychological distress in a rural Japanese community. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 368-373. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.35050.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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