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Parents are happier than non-parents, new research suggests
Date:5/17/2012

mably more mature) and if you are married (and presumably have more social and financial support), then you're likely to be happier if you have children than your childless peers," says co-author Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at UC Riverside. "This is not true, however, for single parents or very young parents."

Fathers in particular expressed greater levels of happiness, positive emotion and meaning in life than their childless peers. "Interestingly, the greater levels of parental happiness emerged more consistently in fathers than mothers," says Dunn. "While more research is needed on this topic, it suggests that the pleasures of parenthood may be offset by the surge in responsibility and housework that arrives with motherhood," she says.

The researchers also found that the stresses associated with single parenthood did not wipe out the greater feelings of meaning and reward associated with having children.

"We are not saying that parenting makes people happy, but that parenthood is associated with happiness and meaning," Lyubomirsky says. "Contrary to repeated scholarly and media pronouncements, people may find solace that parenthood and child care may actually be linked to feelings of happiness and meaning in life."


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Contact: Basil Waugh
basil.waugh@ubc.ca
604-822-2048
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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