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New study says fathers are happier than mothers after becoming parents




Newborn baby, Cameron Chase Addie, grasps the finger of his 25-year-old father, Brian Addie, of Vivian, Louisiana at Willis-Knighton Pierremont Hospital June 14, 2002 in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Newborn baby, Cameron Chase Addie, grasps the finger of his 25-year-old father, Brian Addie, of Vivian, Louisiana at Willis-Knighton Pierremont Hospital June 14, 2002 in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images

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A new study shows that men are happier, more satisfied, and less depressed after they become parents. Mothers said they were more depressed than women who did not have children.

Psychologists at UC Riverside looked at past studies that looked at people’s sense of well-being after having children. The three studies totaled more than 18,000 parents, ages 16 to 95. The first two compared people’s overall sense of well-being, and the third considered well-being while interacting with their kids. Overall, parents were happier when they were interacting with their kids, but men reported higher levels of happiness.

Why would men be happier than women upon becoming a parent? Do the results surprise you? As a parent or child, do these findings line up with your experience growing up or raising children of your own?

Guest:

Katherine Nelson-Coffey, lead author of the study on happiness and parenting, “Parenthood is Associated with Greater Well-Being for Fathers than Mothers,” which was recently published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin; assistant professor of psychology at Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee