Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is Parenting A Joy Or A Trial?

Date:
March 21, 2009
Source:
University of York
Summary:
An economist is claiming that the idea that parenting makes us happy is an illusion. He offers an explanation to one of the most surprising conclusions of recent research into well-being -- that having children does not increase our level of happiness.

As the nation prepares to celebrate motherhood, a University of York economist is claiming that the idea that parenting makes us happy is an illusion.

In an article in the latest issue of The Psychologist, Dr Nattavudh Powdthavee, of the University's Department of Economics and Related Studies, offers an explanation to one of the most surprising conclusions of recent research into wellbeing -- that having children does not increase our level of happiness.

"Social scientists have found almost zero association between having children and happiness," he said. "In a recent study of British adults for example we found that parents and non-parents reported the same levels of life satisfaction. Other studies from Europe and the USA found that parents report significantly lower levels of satisfaction than people who haven't had children."

The widespread belief that having children makes you happy, can be explained as a ‘focussing illusion' argues Dr Powdthavee, an expert on the economics of happiness. "To imagine what it's like being a mother or a father we're likely to focus more on the good things about being a parent than the bad things. This is mainly because we believe that the rare but meaningful experiences like a child's first smile or seeing them get married will give us massive and long-lasting increases in happiness.

"But in reality, we rarely think about these big experiences on a daily basis, simply because they do not occur to us every day. Instead, parents spend much of their time attending to the very core processes of child care - problems at school, cooking and laundry - which are much more frequent but a lot less salient events. And it is these small but negative experiences that are more likely to impact on our day-to-day levels of happiness and life satisfaction."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of York. "Is Parenting A Joy Or A Trial?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090319152210.htm>.
University of York. (2009, March 21). Is Parenting A Joy Or A Trial?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090319152210.htm
University of York. "Is Parenting A Joy Or A Trial?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090319152210.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins