Child Rearing Support of Nurses who are Mothers of Pre-School Age Children

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Akiko Maruyama, PhD
Faculty of Nursing, Kyoritsu Women's University, Tokyo, Japan
Eiko Suzuki, PhD
Department of nursing, International University of Health and Welfeare, Tokyo, Japan
Tomomi Azuma, PhD, RN
School of nursing, Konan women's university, koube, Japan
Miyuki Saito, PhD, RN, PHN
School of Nursing, Yamagata University, Yamagata, Japan


Managing both job and child rearing is a big challenge for women, and it is specifically difficult for nurses to manage both and that many nurses are susceptible to stress. This study aimed to clarify the relationship between burnout and child rearing support of nurses who have pre-school age children.


The subjects were 2,151 nurses who have pre-school age children, working in 70 hospitals with at least 200 beds, established by cities and towns across Japan. The questionnaires were completed by 1,644 nurses (92.3%) in October 2010, and they were divided into two cohorts to observe the incidence of burnout, which was investigated in October 2011. To assess child rearing support, nurses were asked whether there were any persons (parents, sibling, frend,  relative, neighbor, babysitter) who support them and with whom (parents, sibling, frend, relative, neighbor, babysitter) they can consult in child rearing, and how often they have occasion to talk with their spouse about their children (Anme 1987). We assessed burnout using the total Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) score. In many other studies (Bourbonnais, Comeau, Vezina & Dion, 1998; Inaoka, 1988), the definition of burnout was applied to the subjects with MBI scores in the highest tertile. Therefore, the subjects with total MBI scores in the highest tertile were defined as being burnout. 


By excluding nurses whose total MBI was in the top one-third or higher (12.14 point or higher), a cohort was set up (n=1,096). In the survey conducted in October 2011, the number of valid responses after excluding the ones that were incomplete or duplicated was 1,008 (82.4%). After matching the responses obtained in the baseline survey with the survey in October 2011, the number of nurses that were eligible for a follow-up survey was 523 (47.3%), and the burnout incidence group had 117 nurses (22.4%). As a result of the chi-square test, child rearing support related to burnout was existence of consulters about child rearing, especially neighbors (0.01<P<0.05).


According to the factors affecting burnout of nurses, ‘service years at the present workplace’, ‘will to continue the work’, ‘assertiveness’ and ‘overtime work’ were already reported in the previous studies. However, there are a few researches for nurses who have pre-school age children. Since ‘Child rearing support’ is unique to this study, it can be regarded as a newly found factor. In Japan, nuclear family has been increasing. Mother during child care tends to be lonely. Neighbor seems to be a big help than kinsman. We have found that the presence of consulters contributes significantly to the elimination of stress in nurses who have pre-school children.


Anme, T. & Ueda, R. (1987). Changes and continuity of the development during preschool years and related factors: From longitudinal study: Proceedings of international society for the study of behavioral development. Tokyo, Japan.

Bourbonnais, R., Comeau, M., Vezina, M. & Dion, G. (1998). Job strain, psychological distress, and burnout in nurses. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 34, 20-28.

Inaoka, F. (1988). Burnout genshou to burnout shakudo [Burnout phenomenon and burnout scale]. Offical Journal of the Japanese Nursing Association, 21 (2), 27-35.