Can “ Pokémon GO ” rescue shut-ins (hikikomori) from their isolated world?

Article by Kato et al. published online in

December 2016 in Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences

Open access:

PS: “To date, there has been no evidence showing a correlation between the use of personal computers (PCs) and/or information technology (IT) and the occurrence of hikikomori, at least in Japan.”


Japanese Parents’ Narratives of Social Withdrawal

Emplotting Hikikomori: Japanese Parents’ Narratives of Social Withdrawal

ArticleinCulture Medicine and Psychiatry · May 2016
DOI: 10.1007/s11013-016-9495-6
  • 11.8 · Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Somerset, New Jersey
Hikikomori, often glossed as “social withdrawal,” emerged as a sociomedical condition among Japanese youth at the end of the twentieth century, and it continues to fascinate and concern the public. Explanatory frameworks for hikikomori abound, with different stakeholders attributing it to individual psychopathology, poor parenting, and/or a lack of social support structures. This article takes an interpretive approach to hikikomori by exploring parents’ narrative constructions of hikikomori children in support group meetings and in-depth interviews. I argue that some parents were able to find hope in hikikomori by ‘emplotting’ their children’s experiences into a larger narrative about onset, withdrawal, and recovery, which helped them remain invested in the present by maintaining a sense of possibility about the future. Contrary to literature that examines hikikomori as an epidemic of isolated individuals, I demonstrate how parents play a key role in hikikomori through meaning-making activities that have the potential to shape their children’s experiences of withdrawal.

Social Anxiety Between Asian Americans and European Americans

Comparing Social Anxiety Between Asian Americans and European Americans: An Examination of Measurement Invariance

ArticleinAssessment · June 2016
DOI: 10.1177/1073191116656438
There have been over 30 studies and two meta-analyses comparing social anxiety between Asian Americans and European Americans. However, few have investigated the invariance of social anxiety measures that would make these comparisons appropriate. In the current study, we systematically examined psychometric properties and configural, metric, and scalar invariance of five social anxiety measures and four short forms that have been used more than once to compare Asian Americans (n = 232) and European Americans (n = 193). We found that four (i.e., SPS-6, SIAS-6, SPS, and SPAI-18) of the nine scales were scalar invariant, three scales (i.e., SIAS, SPAI, and B-FNES) only achieved configural invariance, and two scales (i.e., FNES and SADS) failed to achieve configural invariance. Latent mean comparisons based on the scalar invariant measures revealed higher social anxiety scores for Asian Americans than European Americans. The findings are discussed with regard to the issues and challenges when comparing social anxiety among different cultural and ethnic groups.

The Ecology of Withdrawal (Frontiers in Psychology)

General Commentary ARTICLE

Front. Psychol., 23 May 2016 |

The Ecology of Withdrawal. Commentary: The NEET and Hikikomori spectrum: Assessing the risks and consequences of becoming culturally marginalized

Michael E. W. Varnum* and Jung Y. Kwon

Japanese Postmodern Social Renouncers

My article about hikikomori is still free to read (top-viewed articles published in 2015, Palgrave journals) at the Social & Cultural Studies page on the Palgrave journals website.


Hikikomori / Frontiers in Psychiatry



OPEN ACCESS article including a case from CANADA

Internet Addiction, Hikikomori Syndrome, and the Prodromal Phase of Psychosis

Stip E, Thibault A, Beauchamp- Chatel A and Kisely S (2016) Internet Addiction, Hikikomori Syndrome, and the Prodromal Phase of Psychosis. Front. Psychiatry 7:6. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00006



Wikipedia: “The second novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. Oblomov is the central character of the novel, portrayed as the ultimate incarnation of the superfluous man, a symbolic character in 19th-century Russian literature. Oblomov is a young, generous nobleman who seems incapable of making important decisions or undertaking any significant actions. Throughout the novel he rarely leaves his room or bed and just manages to move from his bed to a chair in the first 50 pages (…)”

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