The “Parenting Happiness Gap” Is Real, New Research Confirms
By Jenny Anderson & Solana Pyne
June 16, 2016
It’s an almost immutable fact: Regardless of what country you live in, and what stage of life you might be at, having kids makes you significantly less happy compared to people who don’t have kids. It’s called the parenting happiness gap.
New research to be published in the American Journal of Sociology shows that American parents are especially miserable on this front, posting the largest gap (13%) in a group of 22 developed countries.
But the research also shows that it doesn’t have to be this way. Every other country had smaller gaps, and some, including Russia, France, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Hungary, and Portugal, actually showed happiness gains for parents.
…It’s not just one policy, like paid parental leave, that makes the difference. It’s the magic of a package of policies spanning over a lifetime, that allow people to care for children, support them financially, and even enjoy them every once in awhile on a holiday.