Human Interest

Childless Women No Less Happy

April 14, 2007 04:16 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A report by U.S. social researchers finds that having children does not substantially improve a woman’s psychological well-being later in life.

30 Second Summary

The presence of a significant other is more important to a woman’s happiness than children, according to the study's findings.

Researchers looked at women between the ages of 51 and 61. Most were young adults in the 1950s, when women had more children and had them earlier in life.

Although the childless women as a whole reported being somewhat less happy, when the researchers factored in socioeconomic characteristics and marital status, there was no difference in terms of well-being between the two groups.

The rate of childlessness among women over 40 is now 20%, having doubled between 1980 and 1998. The study shows that their situation needn't be thought depressing.

Women who had children before age 19 were the group found least happy, by and large. Those who became mothers after 25 were the most content.

The research found that the childless women were as happy with their lives as women who gave birth between 19 and 24, the usual childbearing age for their generation.



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