Are children happy or not? A new Europe-wide study of more than one million respondents concludes that yes, children are happy – but only under certain conditions.
Some say yes, others say no: When it comes to happy parenting, the ghosts part. Sometimes a small study proves that children make us unhappy, sometimes researchers just prove the opposite. What is really right?
Scientists at Dartmouth College’s Paris School of Economics have evaluated data from numerous European surveys among over one million people in the National Bureau of Economic Research . They were carried out in the period between 2009 and 2018. The participants were asked about their life satisfaction on a scale of one to four. On average, her happiness was 2.93.
All in all, the survey has shown that children actually make their parents happier – but only under certain conditions. According to the meta-study , these four requirements must be met to make children happy:
1. Sufficient money
If parents “despite” children have enough money to pay their bills, they contribute to happiness. On the other hand, if financial concerns dominate, the children quickly become a worry factor and thus less happy.
2. Age of the children
According to the study, children under 10 are more joyful than children between 10 and 14 years old. Whether that is due to the upcoming puberty? The reasons for this were unfortunately not considered in detail by the researchers during the evaluation.
3. Age of the parents
The older the parents, the more unhappy the children are, one could summarize. Scientists have found that parents under the age of 45 are happier than older parents. Most satisfied are therefore those whose children in their forties become of age and full fledged.
4. Physical children
Married couples are happier after study with children than without children. This is apparently only true for couples who have common biological children. For stepchildren or adopted children this is unfortunately not the case for the researchers. But exceptions also confirm the rule here.