A cross-cultural analysis of age identity in Japan and the United States

Hiroshi Ota, Jake Harwood, Angie Williams, Jiro Takai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Age identity (Garstka et al., 1997) was examined with regard to its structure in Japan and the United States.Factor analysis confirmedthe validity of a one-factor structure in both countries. Cluster analysis suggested a three-cluster solution in both Japan (ingroup identification and significance, sense of similarity, ingroup positive evaluation) and the USA (ingroup orientation, age centrality, ingroup positivity). In Japan, age-group pride and positive experiences clusteredwith age-group identificationsand awareness. This points to the importance of a sense of group membership in Japanese young people's positive feelings about their age group. In the USA, the two items clustered with likeability, value and importance, and were distinct from ingroup identification. This suggests that American individuals gain a sense of pride and positive experience when they like, value and give importance to being young. Finally, our Japanese respondents ranked age-group positivity and attachment lower than the Americans did, suggesting that positive feeling associated with being young may be less common in Japan. Future studies of intergenerational communication using age identity were suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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