- 金沢大学人間科学系研究紀要 = Bulletin of the Faculty of Human Sciences Kanazawa University (ISSN:18835368)
- vol.13, pp.27-44, 2021-03-31
A number of qualitative studies have revealed that Japanese railroad enthusiasts have low self-esteem, are emotionally distant from others, and possess autistic tendencies. However, very few empirical psychological studies have been conducted on this phenomenon. The participants included 412 adolescents who completed a questionnaire on their hobbies, level of enthusiasm, self-esteem, friendships, and autistic tendencies. Latent class analysis revealed four classes of adolescents: 1) unenthusiastic adolescents only interested in tours and/or riding trains; 2) those obsessed with riding trains, viewing stations, traveling, reading timetables, and planning imaginary trips; 3) those obsessed with riding trains, but not with reading timetables and/or planning imaginary trips; 4) and those obsessed with all kinds of railroad hobby activities who mostly had high scores for enthusiasm. Although no significant differences were found for self-esteem and autistic tendencies amongst the four classes, on the friendship scale, those in class 4 were careful not to be hurt by their friends and were emotionally distant from their friends.