Meaning of the family and family communication — Experiences of Hikikomoris

Salminen-Tuomaala Mari, Haasio Ari, Naka Hajime


The originally Japanese phenomenon of hikikomori, or being socially withdrawn, has been identified in several countries across the world. This qualitative study describes meanings ascribed by self-defined hikikomoris to family and family communication. The study aims at producing knowledge that can be used by professionals in education, health care and social services to support and counsel the socially withdrawn individuals. The data were collected in May 2020 from an anonymous forum for self-defined hikikomoris or socially withdrawn people in Finland. Inductive content analysis was used to analyze the data. The socially withdrawn people had both positive and negative experiences associated with their families. Some of the hikikomoris appreciated the support and encouragement from their families, while others associated their failures in life with poor family dynamics, abusive experiences and lack of communication in the family. Counseling and support are required to improve interaction, dialogue and other aspects of family dynamics.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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