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 July 31, 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. 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:
from the past week

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