Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Earlier this month, we brought you two studies that suggested parents are happier than non-parents. Now, further research backs up the idea.

In a series of studies conducted in the U.S. and Canada, researchers discovered parents feel happier and experience greater meaning in life than their childless peers.

They also found parents are happier when they're taking care of their children than while doing other activities during the day, according to the researchers from University of British Columbia, University of California, Riverside, and Stanford University.

Story continues below advertisement



Of course, that doesn't mean having children will boost your happiness. The researchers emphasized their findings merely show a link between parenthood and happiness, not causation. They do, however, help debunk the stereotype of the glum parent who takes little pleasure in childcare duties, they said.

"These findings suggest that parents are not nearly the miserable creatures that we might expect from recent studies and popular representations," co-author Elizabeth Dunn, associate professor of psychology at University of British Columbia, said in a press release.

The research consisted of three separate tests that compared whether parents are happier overall than non-parents, whether parents feel happier moment-to-moment, and whether parents have more positive feelings while taking care of their children versus doing other daily activities.

Interestingly, they found fathers are particularly happier than their childless counterparts. Dr. Dunn said this could indicate that parental happiness may be offset by the greater responsibility and housework that comes with motherhood.

Furthermore, older and married parents were happiest, likely because they're presumed to be more mature and have more social and financial support.

What's your experience? Among your peers, who's happier – parents or non-parents?

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies