British study finds marriage and children increase happiness

British study finds marriage and children increase happiness

The Family is Important for Life and Society


A recent study has found that getting married and having children increase happiness and overall life satisfaction. Commenting on the results, author and TV personality Rachel Campos-Duffy told CNA that this runs counter to the prevailing culture and “reminds couples to appreciate each other and the beautiful messiness of child-rearing right here and now.”

Published on Oct. 14 in the online edition of the Journal of Happiness Studies, the study, titled “Children and Life Satisfaction” emphasizes the importance of couples being married with children, versus unmarried with children. The study concluded that single, separated or cohabiting people with children reported negative experiences as opposed to married couples with children, who reported positive experiences.

Dr. Luis Angeles, professor at Glasgow University in Scotland and author of the study stated that  “one is tempted to advance that children make people better off under the 'right conditions' – a time in life when people feel they are ready or at least willing, to enter parenthood.” Angeles continued to say that “this time can come at very different moments for different individuals, but a likely signal of its approach may well be the act of marriage.”

The study also concluded that the more children a married couple has, the greater the life satisfaction, especially for women.

Commenting on the findings of the study, author and mother of six Rachel Campos-Duffy told CNA, “I think most people would be surprised by the finding, perhaps married people with kids included! After all, we are affected by our culture and our culture does not honor the notion of sacrifice. It has difficulty processing the idea that nurturing and giving of oneself can bring pleasure and satisfaction.”

Campos-Duffy, who is the author of “Stay Home, Stay Happy: 10 Secrets to Loving At-Home Motherhood,” explained to CNA that one of the reasons she wrote her book “was precisely to debunk this cultural tenant. Motherhood isn't just something we do for the kids; it's something we do for ourselves. As the study proves, being married and raising children well under the right circumstances (i.e. marriage) can make us very happy people indeed. It's totally counter cultural.”

Campos-Duffy went on to say that “this study is important because moms and dads of growing families need to hear the message of 'happiness' so we can appreciate the life we are creating and living as it's happening – not 20 years from now when the kids are long gone.”

“This study reminds couples to appreciate each other and the beautiful messiness of child-rearing right here and now,” she said.

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