Using structural equation modeling and data drawn from the 2000 and 2009 National Surveys of Family and Economic Conditions in Japan, we use a combination of repeated cross-sectional (N = 4,333 in 2000 and N = 3,047 in 2009) and panel data (N = 2,202) to examine the relationship between knowing someone engaging in an “innovative family behavior” and attitudes toward the behavior. We bring together two distinct streams of research on attitudes, one focusing on interest and exposure, and the other on cohort versus period effects. We use more direct measures of exposure than are heretofore available in most studies and examine longitudinally the association between knowing a family innovator and attitudes. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find that knowing a cohabiter is associated with having a more non-traditional attitude. Furthermore, results are more in line with a cohort-replacement effect, rather than a change across the life course.
October 5, 2016