Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Single motherhood does not make women unhappy, study reports

Date:
April 22, 2014
Source:
Ume universitet
Summary:
Raising a child outside of marriage poses many challenges – but does not have a negative impact on women’s happiness, according to new research. All in all, we found no evidence to support the assumption that the lives of women who became single mothers would have turned out better if they had not given birth and had not decided to raise on their own," concludes one researcher.

Raising a child outside of marriage poses many challenges -- but does not have a negative impact on women's happiness, according to new research published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Single motherhood is often seen as a reason for a number of life adversities. Single mothers need to handle organizational and financial pressures. They also suffer from a lack of partner support, and social disapproval of bearing and rearing on their own. In this new study researchers from Ume University, Wittgenstein Centre in Austria, Warsaw School of Economics and Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Poland, shows that it is not the arrival of a child per se that leads to a decline in single mothers' happiness.

"Despite all of the difficulties and problems -- or maybe because of them -- the children are moved to the absolute center of the woman's universe and they are the brightest aspect of their lives, " says Monika Mynarska, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. "Moreover, children often give women the power to make decisions they had not been able to make before pregnancy."

Specifically, being responsible for the child's well-being helped many of the interviewed women escape unhappy or pathological relationships, and made them more cautious and demanding when getting involved with a new partner. Hence, becoming a mother might move a woman's life onto a "better track."

These findings, stemming from in-depth interviews, are further supported by the analyses of nationally representative survey in Poland, which show that the positive aspects of lone motherhood counterbalanced the negative ones.

"An arrival of a child either had no impact or even increases the happiness of the single mothers" says Anna Baranowska-Rataj, Ume University.

The study combines insights from both in-depth interviews with mothers who gave birth while single and a large-scale panel survey that follows individuals over time for over a decade. This combination of methods allowed for exploring the possible mechanisms through which motherhood may raise or reduce happiness and -- in a second step -- to quantify these influences and see whether they really have impact in the whole population of single mothers.

The study is conducted in Poland, a country where the degree of acceptance of nonmarital childbearing is still relatively low and the welfare state support for lone mothers is very limited. Given these unfavorable conditions, one could expect strong negative effects of having a child on the happiness of women who have no partners.

"All in all, we found no evidence to support the assumption that the lives of women who became single mothers would have turned out better if they had not given birth and had not decided to raise on their own," concludes Anna Matysiak, Wittgenstein Centre.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Anna Baranowska-Rataj, Anna Matysiak, Monika Mynarska. Does Lone Motherhood Decrease Women’s Happiness? Evidence from Qualitative and Quantitative Research. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10902-013-9486-z

Cite This Page:

Ume universitet. "Single motherhood does not make women unhappy, study reports." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422084706.htm>.
Ume universitet. (2014, April 22). Single motherhood does not make women unhappy, study reports. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422084706.htm
Ume universitet. "Single motherhood does not make women unhappy, study reports." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422084706.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
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