Backgrounds According to the 2008 report by Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, the number of households receiving public assistance was nearly 1.2 million, and elderly households accounted for 46% of them, followed by households headed by individuals with illness/disabilities (36%).
Aim The present study investigated family, school, and social life of public assistance recipients because of their illness/disabilities in Kagoshima, Japan, to identify predictive characteristics of high-risk group of public assistance recipients and to seek preventive measures against welfare dependence.
Subjects and Methods In this study, 409 public assistance recipients with illness/disabilities and 787 controls were recruited. One or two controls were matched with each recipient on age (10-year category) and residence area (city, town or village). A self-administered and anonymous questionnaire was distributed by case workers and local welfare commissioners to public assistance recipients and control subjects, respectively, during the period from July to November 2007. The information on birth weight, parent-child relationship in childhood, relationship with friends, academic backgrounds for both study subjects and their parents, marital history, lifestyles including smoking and alcohol drinking habits, health action, employment history, possession of driver's license, and relationship with their children.
Results and Discussion In addition to the reported common characteristics, higher frequencies of poor relationship with their parents, smokers, no driver's license, and poor relationship with their children were observed in the public assistance recipients than control subjects. Interactions between each factor and more details will be discussed.