Movies and advertisements have always forced us to believe that parenthood can only bring happiness of a couple. However, a new study is suggesting something absolutely different. According to the said study, having a child might affect a person’s mood negatively.
Researchers conducting the study have found that effects of having a child can be devastatingly bad on an individual’s life, worse than unemployment, divorce and even a partner’s death.
During the study, researchers Mikko Myrskylä and Rachel Margolis monitored 2,016 Germans who didn’t have any child when the study began. They were followed for a minimum of two years after their first child was born.
The participants were asked how happy they are with their life, all things considered. To answer this question, the respondents had to rate their happiness from 0 (represents the completely dissatisfied group) to 10 (represents the completely satisfied group).
The researchers wrote that although this measurement of happiness doesn’t capture the overall experience respondents had as a result of having a child, it’s preferable to shoot questions about childbearing as still new parents believe that it’s not right to talk negative about a newborn.
The study was conducted with the aim of gathering information on a common fertility-related contradiction in several developed countries between the number of children people want and the number of children they finally have.
During surveys, the majority of the couples in Germany say that they want to have two children. In spite of such desires of German couples, the country has had a persistently low birth rate during the past four decades. Statistics reveal that during this period just 1.5 children were born per German woman on an average.
University of Western Ontario’s Margolis, a sociology researcher and Myrskylä, the top boss of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research discovered that the majority of the couple studied by them was very happy when they decided to have their first child. The satisfaction level in their life was even higher in the year before the birth.
According to the researchers, the factors that played key roles in making the couples so happy were probably pregnancy and the eagerness of having the baby.
The experiences of these couples deviated only after their child was born. Just 30% of the new parents were found to be equally happy or happier compared to what they were before childbirth. All the other couples said that they were less happy during the first two years following the childbirth.