Editorials

Are People Happier Without Kids?

Most research shows that childless couples are more satisfied and happier with their relationships than people with kids. This is an interesting discovery considering that for centuries children were thought to be the source of fulfillment and meaning in someone’s life.

According to two studies, the answer might be yes and no. Two studies by Princeton University and Stony Brook University found that there are a few differences in life satisfaction between these two groups.

“People who live with children are more likely to be married, richer, better educated, more religious, and healthier, all of which have well-documented positive associations with evaluative and hedonic wellbeing,” the abstract of the study said. However, this is correlation and not causation. After taking all these factors out of the picture, studies found no differences among these two groups.

One difference the study noted was that parents have the tendency to experience highs and lows. For instance, parents can have more joy and happiness in their lives. However, parents can also experience more negative emotions and stress.

According to another study in Open University, England, the study involved more than 5,000 people of all ages, statuses, and sexual orientations in England and the United States. The surveys and interviews’ results indicated that for both men and women with no children had a better relationship than those who did.

Some students seem to agree with the idea couples are happier without children.

“Children are evil,” said Sophomore Joanna Ozog.

Other students strongly disagree.

“Children make everything better,” said Sophomore Marie Ryan.

Also, studies show that mothers are happier than women without children, and that fathers are slightly less happier than men without children. In addition, when it was asked about the most important person in their lives, mothers answered their children and fathers answered their partners.

According to Dr. Jacqui Gabb, senior lecturer in social policy at the Open University, when people become parents, there is a shift where women focus more on children than their husbands. This results in much less time devoted into the relationship. Children themselves are not the problem, but the fact that parents spend less time focusing on each other because they have to focus on their children.

According to the authors of “Enduring Love? Couple Relationships in the 21st Century,” small acts of kindness are what makes couples feel more valued in their relationships. For instance, little things such as making a cup of tea or saying “I love you” is what makes a relationship more meaningful.

Categories: Editorials

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