Having children will cause you to happier than staying childless, consistent with a replacement study, but not until later in life, once they have flown the nest.
A team of researchers at Heidelberg University in Germany found that oldsters tend to be happier than non-parents in adulthood , but this only holds if their kids have removed .
Previous research has suggested that parenthood, social networks and legal status affect the well-being and psychological state of older people, and this latest study looks at the consequences of family status.
When it involves who is happier, people with kids or those without, most research points to the latter. But a replacement study suggests that oldsters are happier than non-parents later in life, when their children move out and become sources of social enjoyment instead of stress.
Most surveys of parental happiness have focused on those whose children still live reception . These tend to point out that folks with kids are less happy than their child-free peers because they need less free time, sleep and money.
Christoph Becker at Heidelberg University in Germany and his colleagues wondered if the story might be different for people whose kids have left home. to seek out out, they analysed data from a eu survey that asked 55,000 people aged 50 and older about their emotional well-being.
They found that, during this older age bracket , people with children had greater life satisfaction and fewer symptoms of depression than people without children, but as long as their kids had left home.
This may be because when children grow old and move out, they provide social enrichment to their parents minus the day-to-day stress of taking care of them, says Becker. they’ll also give something back by providing care and support to their parents, he says. “Hence, children’s role as caregivers, support or simply as social contact might outweigh negative aspects of parenthood,” he says.
The picture is analogous within the US, says Nicholas Wolfinger at the University of Utah.
He recently analysed 40 years of knowledge from the US General Social Survey and located that empty-nest parents aged 50 to 70 were 5 to six per cent more likely to report being very happy than those with kids still reception .
If parents balk at the thought of expecting their kids to maneuver bent maximise their potential happiness, they might move to a rustic with better childcare support, says Wolfinger. A 2016 study of twenty-two countries found that oldsters with children reception were actually slightly happier than their child-free peers if they lived in places like Norway, Portugal and Sweden that have paid parental leave, generous childcare subsidies and holiday and leave .
Having kids causes you happier, but only when they move out