Are Children and Happiness Correlated?

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Does Having Children Make People Happier?

Children are one of the most trusted and inexpensive remedies to cure sadness. This is majorly because of the innocence and the non-judgemental attitude they hold. Smile or laughter of children’s itself can make you forget your worries and bring a smile onto the face. Whether the child be an infant, toddler or a middle age all of them do have a cure for your sadness. Children do not do anything specifically but a simple and an innocent conversation with them does the magic. More and more people want to spend time with kids in order to forget the miseries of life at least temporarily.

Very often this also happens, when a couple if undergoing personal issues, friends and relatives advise them to have a baby because it is believed that a child will bring them happiness. The child could possibly be one of the reasons to bond with each other and bring about a new found love between the agitated couple. They also say, with child many unsolved problems get solved. However, the question whether children and happiness are correlated has been researched over by several social psychologists. A literature review of several studies showed mixed results to this question. One research found that younger parents with infants are generally unhappy as compared to older, married parents. This study showed that the correlation between children and happiness depends on parents’ age, marital status, social support factors and income.

A research study conducted at Princeton University and Stony Brook University showed that there was barely any difference between couples who were parents and couples without children. UK’s Open University’s research found that couples without children rated higher on happiness than otherwise. One reason for this could be that couples without children are financially more secure. The data on marriage, parenthood and happiness shows definite correlation between the three factors. However, there is a stronger link between marriage and happiness than between parenthood and happiness. Most research data indicate similar findings that non-parents are happier than parents.

The debate however remains unsolved. Many people have argued that having children is a matter of choice and it indeed is the greatest joy of life. Also, a research study conducted on parents raising their children reported more positive emotions when they did something for their children than activities like their own work. Many even find children as a source to beat loneliness and not just that they feel that the purpose of life is accomplished after having raised well brought up and quality kids. Some people also stated, children are bliss till they are small and once they outgrow their innocence they are nothing short of misery and pain. As and when the child starts to grow, the responsibilities show an increasing trend. There are many parents who are unhappy and believe that they could have been happier without the offsprings.The opposition to this argument states that parents are deluding themselves by believing that because they have sacrificed so much for their children, they must definitely be happy. Thus, a definite answer to whether children and happiness are correlated remains unanswered.