Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Are Childless Couples Happier?

Are childless couples happier than parents, as some have recently suggested? Not necessarily. Synthesizing findings that, at first blush, appear contradictory, Sonja Lyubomirsky concludes that 

"...certain types of parents (e.g., young parents and parents with small children) are particularly unhappy, while other types (e.g., fathers, married parents, and empty nesters) report especially high life satisfaction, happiness, or meaning. In other words, whether or not children go hand in hand with happiness depends on many factors, including our age, marital status, income and social support, as well as whether our children live with us and have difficult temperaments. Whether we ourselves were securely attached to our own parents is even a factor." 

She adds that "94% of parents say that it is still worth it, despite the costs."

I do believe, though, that the demonstrably growing narcissism in American culture doesn't bode well for happy parenthood in the future. But this implies nothing about parenthood, per se, but is simply the natural result of our increasingly "me first" society.