Do Children Make Parents Happy?

April 15, 2011
Plain English Version

Do Children Make You Happy?

Do children bring joy or do they make their parents more miserable?

Some recent articles say that having children is more a burden than a pleasure.

A study of parents and childless couples in 86 countries offers mixed results. The main conclusion is that older parents with more children are happier than are younger parents with fewer children.

Here are some of the major findings. See if you can find yourself:

·      Parents under 30 are less happy than couples without children

·      Parents over 40 are happier than couples without children

·      Young parents of two are unhappier than young parents of one

·      Young parents of one child are less happy than young couples with no children

·      Couples under 30 are less happy with each additional child.

·      For parents between the ages of 40 and 50, the number of children makes no difference

·      For parents older than 50, the more children they have, the happier they are.

·      Parents in poor health become happier with larger numbers of children

The study did not specify the ages of the children involved. It is not clear if people are happier having children later in life or if they are happier when their children are older and easier to be with.

According to the director, the report shows that older people who are in need of the family support of children benefit from having children.


The New York Times


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