How we disseminate our research results
Most of our research results will be published in academic journals and books. We contribute policy making process through active dissemination of our research results, including flyers and books for general interest. We publish press releases featuring published journal articles, books, and annual reports. Our institute holds annual symposiums presenting research results. We plan seminars and lectures not only for professionals and practicing teachers, but also for the public, instructed by members of the institute.
Academic activities and outcomes:2016~2021 results
The Institute for Education and Human Development is composed of three research organizations: Childcare and Education Research Division, Human Development Research Division, and Developmental Clinical Research Division. The following is an overview of the research carried out by the three divisions from academic years 2016 to 2021.
Basic Research on Human Development Unit
This Division focuses on the healthy growth and development of the mind and body, especially during childhood. It uses Ochanomizu University’s Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) facilities (Ochanomizu University Kindergarten, Ochanomizu University Center for Early Childhood Education and Care, or Kodomo-en, and Izumi Nursery) as its field of research and engages in comprehensive study on enhancing the quality of early childhood care and education, fostering the skills and competencies of nursery teachers, and developing community childcare support. The Division collaborates with the new on-campus psychology department and early childhood education courses, adult refresher courses for current childcare and education professionals, and forums for educational research and practice at university-affiliated schools and kindergartens to apply educational content that is the outcome of its studies and propel the research on educational curriculum forward in a cyclical manner.
2. Overview of programs
We have implemented most of the following programs that correspond to K30 and K35 in our university’s third medium-term goals and plans.
＊A certified center for ECEC, or Kodomo-en, was set up in 2016, on consignment by Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward. The Director is a member of the Institute’s teaching staff. We have been working to build the Center into a cyclical institution for research and practice, capable of meeting contemporary issues. These include the development of the certified Kodomo-en’s curriculum that complies with the New Childcare and Childrearing Support Act, tackling of the shortage of childcare centers in the community, and setting up of community childcare support bases and forums for training nursery teachers. In collaboration with the Institute for Education and Human Development, the Division has established educational curricula for children from age 0, with an eye toward lifelong growth and development, and developed and studied methods for evaluating the quality of ECEC. It contributes to the area’s community by offering childcare courses designed for local parents and guardians, as well as training for current nursery teachers. The outcomes are presented at the Kodomo-en Forum, held between February and March every year. In 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held online. In 2021, researchers and three facilities (Ochanomizu University Kindergarten, Kodomo-en, and Izumi Nursery) jointly set up a Study Group on Childcare Management. A joint research program is under way, comprising four parts: evaluation of childcare, records of childcare, lifestyle design, and research on childcare facility management. A Children’s Forum is being held online. Moreover, using the 2021 Grant-in-Aid for Research Reinforcement and Promotion of Support for Business Research, we held an autonomous symposium at the 74th meeting of the Japan Society for Research on Early Childhood Care and Education, titled “Searching for early evening childcare: A study of the curricula at Kodomo-en that are offered outside standard education times.”
＊The Division collaborated with the three early childhood education sites (Ochanomizu University Kindergarten, Izumi Nursery, and the certified Kodomo-en) and consulted early childhood education courses, set up in 2018 as part of the Faculty of Letters and Education, and offered practical-style classes on educating and fostering childcare providers and schoolteachers (e.g., field work, internships). The Division has also been promoting the reorganization of curricula while reflecting upon its research results. Moreover, participants have been recruited for adult courses (for credit registration), certified as a part of a Brush-Up Program for Professionals (“BP”) in 2019, in cooperation with Bunkyo Ward as well as Bunkyo-ku Municipal Ochanomizu University Center for Early Childhood Education and Care (Kodomo-en). These adult courses were run by the On-Campus Education Group. The Division began offering online classes in 2020 and saw a sharp increase in the number of students taking open lecture-type classes. At the end of 2020, a certificate of completion was issued to four individuals, and the ECCELL-BP Mini-Forum was held online.
＊We have summarized our study on the outcomes and challenges of the adult programs at Ochanomizu University and published a paper in English in Japan Higher Education and Student Support.
Hamaguchi, J., Utsumi, S. (2020) Unlearning-Based Professional Development for Early Childhood Care and Education: Survey of the ECCELL Program at Ochanomizu University, Japan Higher Education and Student Support 11, pp. 25-31
＊The Division has promoted and enriched the childcare and education research activities at our university’s affiliated schools (kindergarten, elementary, junior and senior high schools) by newly establishing education and research departments related to the certified Kodomo-en; reorganizing the collaborative setup between the university and affiliated schools; improving the educational curricula at kindergarten, elementary, junior and senior high schools, as well as Izumi Nursery and the certified Kodomo-en, and the research programs that form their basis; and supporting research on assessments and evaluations. Moreover, while making use of the section-specific research system that has long been continued independently at various schools under the School Education Research Department, the Division has continued to make efforts to create a system that will work in a positive manner to promote various types of research by organically connecting the system with the university’s researchers. We encouraged the participation of university instructors in general meetings held by the educators at this Division, as well as of affiliated schools and kindergartens, and in section-specific study groups held about once a month. We also cooperated in meetings to present research results held at the end of the academic year. Notably, in 2018, we established a collaborative researcher system. Three researchers have been conducting research by setting a unified theme, using Ochanomizu University Kindergarten as their field of study. They have been working to conduct regular research exchanges. At an open symposium attended by various countries’ researchers on early childhood education, we shared a forum with educators at university-affiliated schools and kindergarten. A study group on expression-style workshops (Life x Art Exhibition), jointly conducted by affiliated kindergarten, elementary, and middle schools, as well as Kodomo-ens and Izumi Nursery School, welcomes participation from numerous community residents, and is rated highly each year as a test project for integrating the university, affiliated schools and kindergarten, and the local community. Although joint research was significantly held back from 2020 to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to offer our assistance in creating the Q&A Series (three issues), published between 2020 and 2021.
Human Development Research Division
1. Research projects
This Division engages in research that focuses on the healthy lifelong development of the mind and body, primarily from the areas of psychology, educational studies, and sociology. In our Research on Human Development and QOL, we investigate, through long-term longitudinal research that starts from pregnancy, the influence on a child’s health and development of childrearing conditions, such as the family’s socioeconomic status, family relationships, and the media. We also analyze, from a long-term perspective, the influence of work–life balance and the workplace environment on the parents’ physical and psychological health and development, thereby offering empirical knowledge and findings on the QOL of the entire family. In our Research on the Health Behaviors of Adolescence, Young Adulthood, and Adulthood, we carry out health psychology-type basic research on psychological and physical health, and the conditions that surround them, at the individual level. We also engage in investigative research on Internet and gambling addictions to offer knowledge and findings that contribute to the mechanism of manifesting risk behaviors and their prevention. The Educational Social Gaps Research Group, meanwhile, conducts long-term follow-up research and international comparative studies on gaps that occur in childcare and education offered to children, as well as on their impact on children’s growth and development, and offers proposals toward solving educational and social gaps.
2. Overview of research activities
In line with the objectives of the research projects described above, we mainly carried out the following research activities from 2016 to 2019.
[Academic Year 2016]
Under the Research on Human Development and QOL, we continued our long-term follow-up study on family’s health and QOL from pregnancy until adulthood (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research A) and published the results in an English paper. We also conducted a joint international comparative survey on work–life balance and QOL with the German Institute for Japanese Studies, targeting childrearing households (a total of 4,000 men and women in Japan and Germany), and published our findings as a book in English.
[Academic Year 2017]
Under our Research on the Health Behaviors of Adolescence, Young Adulthood, and Adulthood, we conducted a nationwide survey on gambling addiction in adulthood (Pachinko–Pachislot Playing Disorder) targeting 5,060 randomly sampled subjects, and announced, for the first time in Japan, on the basis of estimated results, that approximately 400,000 people live with this disorder. This was extensively reported in mass media.
A survey on eating behaviors targeting 1,929 Sri Lankan junior and senior high school students drew significant attention as the country’s first empirical research on people’s intentions to lose weight. The results were published as a paper in English. The Research on Human Development and QOL and the Educational Social Gaps Research groups jointly hosted an open symposium, “A family’s financial disadvantages and various problems encountered by school-age children,” which was attended by citizens who had an interest in problems related to child poverty and educational gaps. Moreover, we initiated a multicenter joint follow-up study on children with developmental disorders, together with the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry’s Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, as well as Tokorozawa City, with which our university has concluded a collaboration agreement.
[Academic Year 2018]
As a part of the Research on Human Development and QOL, we released our results from a long-term longitudinal study on the media and children’s growth and development from infancy to childhood, which investigated 1,368 households in a city in the Tokyo area. We also contributed an article to an English book on the situation in Japan pertaining to informatization in elementary and secondary schools, jointly written by researchers from various countries.
[Academic Year 2019]
As a part of our Educational Social Gaps Research, we analyzed large-scale nationwide data on country-wide academic achievement tests and published the results on the relation between family circumstances and scholastic ability. Our findings were taken up extensively by the media and used in the explanatory material for the New Education Guidelines. Under our Research on the Health Behaviors of Adolescence, Young Adulthood, and Adulthood, we held two international seminars on themes that included body image and eating disorders.
[Academic Year 2020]
As a part of our Research on Human Development and QOL, we were engaged in editing and publishing the Q&A Series editions of “Developmental disorder: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD),” “Developmental disorder: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),” and “Developmental disorder: Learning Disabilities (LD), Developmental Coordination Disorder, and Tic Disorder.” We also published PDF versions of the booklets that could be downloaded from the website of the Institute for Education and Human Development.
Under our Research on the Health Behaviors of Adolescence, Young Adulthood, and Adulthood, we collaborated with researchers in France, the US, Australia, and Italy in conducting an international comparative study on the impact of lockdown measures enforced in various countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s health-related activities and eating disorders. Regarding high school students’ intentions to undergo influenza vaccination, we conducted a survey on the framing of messages and investigated the influence on the subjects’ intentions. Along with our university’s Institute for Human Life Innovation (IHLI), we contributed articles to the “Infections” Q&A Series.
As a part of the Educational Social Gaps Research, meanwhile, our analysis of a survey of parents/guardians, featured in the large-scale nationwide data on country-wide academic achievement tests, which we had reported at a symposium of the Science Council of Japan, made headline news. Our research on the relation between a family’s socioeconomic status and a child’s academic ability was reported in various newspapers. We posted our review on academic disparities in academic journals, which evoked discussions in academic circles on research into educational gaps. As our contribution to the government, we provided instruction and advice to Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, based on our research results, regarding their educational policies.
[Academic Year 2021]
As a part of the Research on Human Development and QOL, we donated, to various relevant institutions, the “Q&A Series,” a booklet published in 2020. We also began receiving requests for the booklets to be sent by post and thus started mailing them to those who requested it.
As a follow-on study for our in-house scientific research with the IHLI (2018 and 2019), we conducted an investigative study on university students’ patterns of developmental disorders and health literacy. Some of our findings were presented at the 85th Annual Convention of the Japanese Psychological Association held in 2021. We also initiated empirical investigations into the effects of protective and compensatory experiences (PACEs) that alleviate adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their post-growth adverse influences. In 2021, we conducted a large-scale nationwide survey on the influence of ACEs and PACEs on the psychological health of university students during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a survey on cohort samples that we had been following up from the early development phase.
Under the Research on the Health Behaviors of Adolescence, Young Adulthood, and Adulthood, we began our research on the influence of emotions on eating behaviors, using Ecological Momentary Assessments that repeatedly measure adults’ eating behaviors and emotions in their daily life. As a co-host of the 34th General Meeting of the Japanese Association of Health Psychology (held online), we collaborated with the staff of IHLI and held a symposium on food and psychology. We also began taking part in a Tohoku University research plan to develop a system, using AI, aimed at changing people’s behavioral patterns to prevent the onset of adult diseases.
As a part of the Educational Social Gaps Research, we published A Prescription for Academic Gaps (Keiso Shobo, May 2021), a book that presented analyses of large-scale data on country-wide academic achievement tests. We aimed to gain a broad readership, including people concerned with schools and the government. The results of our research on academic gaps were actively disseminated through lectures, newspaper and magazine articles, and other media. Regarding concerns about educational gaps that widened during the COVID-19 pandemic and how special activities (especially school events) should ideally be implemented, we analyzed the status and made proposals in articles published as newspaper columns. As an example of our contribution to the government, we provided advice, based on our research results, to Tokyo’s Setagawa Ward and to Namegata City in Ibaraki Prefecture for use in their educational policies.
Developmental Clinical Research Division
Each member of the Developmental Clinical Research Division is also engaged in clinical practice and has been carrying out research in that context.
【Professor Tomoko Takamura, 2016–2019】
1) Professor Takamura conducted parent training that incorporated stress management techniques, focusing on parents of children with developmental disorders, as well as social skills training (SST) for children, led by the parents, and investigated their psychological effects from the perspective of parental empowerment. She reported the results of the study in general meetings of academic societies and in scientific journals.
2) For children with developmental disorders, Professor Takamura conducted SST that emphasized emotional experiences and examined its effects. The results were reported in general meetings of academic societies.
3) Professor Takamura re-examined the health checkups performed on high-risk children (born with very low birth weights) before and after starting school during the long-term follow-up period.
【Associate Professor Ayako Ito, 2016–2019】
1) Practical research on consultations related to classroom ambience
Associate Professor Ito conducted assessments on approximately 500 classrooms at national, public, and private schools using the new and old editions of the Classroom Climate Inventory (Ito, 2009; Ito and Usami, 2017, and Ito and Masui, 2001). On the basis of the results, she provided consultations on classroom management by studying them with the teachers. She investigated the changes in classroom social ambience that emerged from changes in classroom management by the same homeroom teacher, as well as changes in the social climate of classrooms with pupils and students with developmental disorders that require special assistance.
2) International comparative survey on school counseling activities
Associate Professor Ito used survey items common to 17 countries (the International Survey of School Counselors’ Activities) (Fan et al., 2019) to conduct an international comparative survey.
【Associate Professor Keiichiro Ishimaru】
1) Among psychological topics related to LGBTQ, Associate Professor Ishimaru investigated themes on inter-sex/disorders of sex development, as well as transgenderism, held presentations at academic meetings, wrote papers, and delivered lectures.
2) Regarding sex therapy, which is a psychosocial intervention for people with sexual dysfunction and for sexless couples, the professor wrote papers on his techniques as a therapist and how they relate to cognitive behavioral therapy.
3) He investigated women’s perceptions and behaviors regarding gender in relation to attitudes about sex roles and gender identity and wrote papers on these subjects.
【Professor Shigeru Iwakabe 2018-2021】
1) To promote corrective emotional experiences, Professor Iwakabe investigated the process and effects of emotion-focused therapy that reinforces relationship-type interventions.
2) He investigated the effects of Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy and qualitatively examined the process by which it causes initial changes.
3) He carried out analyses using structural formula modeling and investigated the relation in the above therapy between positive emotions and working alliances.
4) Research on “flourishing (psychological flourishing or thriving)”
5) Qualitative research on the subjective experience of depression
*Works 1) through 3) were previously presented at international conferences, and works 1) and 2) were previously published in professional journals.
【Associate Professor Masaru Takahashi】
1) Working with male and female inmates serving sentences under the Stimulants Control Act, Associate Professor Takahashi studied sexual differences in narcotics-related criminals’ triggers for relapse, based on data jointly obtained by the Research and Training Institute, part of the Ministry of Justice, and the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry’s Department of Drug Dependence Research. He presented his findings in general meetings of academic societies and in English-language scientific journals as a co-author.
2) The professor hosted a symposium and served as the chairperson at an international academic meeting on the status and challenges facing research into the psychological assessment and treatment of sex offenders.
3) At four juvenile detention facilities in Kansai region under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice, he drew up a comprehensive study of the inmates’ acts of self-harm and began gathering data after undergoing ethical reviews.
【Associate Professor Miho Yamada】
1) Associate Professor Yamada carried out practical research on group assistance that combined dance/movement therapy and focusing and published case examples of group practices with older adult patients with dementia in an English-language journal.
2) The professor presented cases of psychotherapy of intellectually disabled adults in general meetings of academic societies and supervised the translation of books written in English.
3) She gathered and analyzed data on the embodied knowledge of educators who conduct classes on somatic education, delivered presentations at academic meetings, and contributed articles to academic journals.
4) She conducted analysis and offered practical advice, from psychological perspectives, on an elementary school principal’s offering of education on the Analects of Confucius, and also co-authored a paper.
【Assistant Professor Mebuki Sunagawa】
1) Assistant Professor Sunagawa presented the results of a survey on the self-efficacy of people with autism spectrum disorder in a Japanese academic society journal.
2) The professor conducted a qualitative systematic review in English of a qualitative research study centered on a certain group of women with autism spectrum disorder, and presented her findings in a Japanese academic society journal.
3) She conducted an interview survey targeting a certain group of women with autism spectrum disorder, delivered a presentation at a meeting of an academic society in Japan, and began writing a paper in English.
4) As a training session lecturer, she delivered lectures on each of the following themes: “Developmental disorder in adults” and “Camouflaging in women with autism spectrum disorder .”
＜Plans from 2021 to 2022＞
An open lecture for the public will be held online in March. From winter 2021, the parent–child support program, “Amanatsu Charm,” will commence, targeting girls with autism spectrum disorder and their parents/guardians. The project has been awarded a grant from this Institute’s departmental research assistance fund.