Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Parenthood and happiness: Direct and indirect impacts of parenthood on happiness

Beja, Edsel Jr. (2014): Parenthood and happiness: Direct and indirect impacts of parenthood on happiness.

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Abstract

Does parenthood bring happiness? This paper finds that the overall impact of parenthood on happiness is negative because the negative indirect impacts exceed the positive direct on happiness. What needs emphasizing is that, while the findings show that parenthood is still a positive status, parenthood undermines life domains in significant ways. In teasing out the different routes in which parenthood affects happiness, this paper thus highlights a problem with the standard conclusion in the extant literature: there is a conflation of the positive direct and negative indirect impacts of parenthood on happiness. The paper then argues that public policy and related programs can both strengthen the positive direct impact and help reverse the negative indirect impacts of parenthood on happiness.

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