Stella Suk-ching CHONG, Kar-Mon CHAN


The term ‘hikikomori’ originates from Japan and means ‘acute social withdrawal’. This study intends to investigate into the causes of hikikomori which is increasing worldwide phenomenon. The methodology is a case study approach located in an interpretive paradigm. The data was mainly collected through e-mails with the participant and phone conversations with his mother. The participant was a ‘hiki­ko­morian’ who was invited to investigate his own problem and further to be the co-author of this paper. The literature findings and this case study were then conceptualized into a more wide-ranging framework in compre­hen­ding the process of hikikomorization. The result appears to show that hikikomorization involves three processes: first, a predisposed introverted personality;  second,   the   effects   of   multiple environmental factors such as family, school and society; and finally, the trigger point, such as the end of schooling or a stressful event. The study offers implications for other hiki­ko­mo­rians in better understanding of their problems and for practitioners working with reclusive ado­lescents and their families.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/v10215-011-0028-0

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