We regard the exodus of young people from our home as a factor in the breakdown of the regional economy. We investigated high school students (third grade) concerning the distinction, in terms of life style and satisfaction, between their living in (i) the suburbs of Miyoshi City (as a rural area with hilly and mountainous terrain), (ii) the suburbs of Hiroshima City (as an area having the mixed features of both rural and urbanized environments) and (iii) the central area of Hiroshima City (as an urbanized area). The investigation was carried out by using both sociology-based and psychology-based questionnaires (BREF-WHOQOL26).
The main results are as follows.
1) Factors relating to attachment to home, communicative activities and interchange with people from other regions, natural conservation, physical abilities, performance and concentration abilities, selfaffirmation, safety from natural disasters, were more highly estimated in hilly and mountainous area than in the suburbs and central area of Hiroshima City. On the other hand, factors relating to infrastructure were more highly estimated in the central area of Hiroshima City than in other areas. Additionally, by regression analysis, it was shown that these factors positively influenced the total QOL scores of students in three areas.
2) Factors relating to selection of residence were prescribed by affection shown at home, recreation and leisure facilities, the circumstances of education, traffic convenience and so on.
3) Factors relating to physical abilities, the ability to survive, self-affirmation as a survival power were influenced statistically positively by familial function and, on the contrary, were influenced statistically negatively by living comfort. Thus, the economic profit and non-economic profit functioned separately against their QOL in antinomy, in rural areas and urbanized areas, respectively.
From these findings, a policy that induced the adjustment of infrastructure, school location, employment opportunities, obtaining simultaneously both living comfort and the familial function, and which produced the power to survive was considered to be fundamentally necessary for the activation of the indigenous development of hilly and mountainous areas.