New York: Fathers experience more well-being and satisfaction than mothers in their parenthood and even when interacting with their children, a new study suggests. Researchers from the University of California in the US analysed three separate studies consisting of 18,000 people that looked at the scale of happiness, psychological satisfaction, depressive symptoms and stress among others.
The first two studies compared the well-being of parents with that of people who do not have children. The findings published in the journal “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin”, showed that fathers reported greater satisfaction with their lives and feelings of connectedness to others.
They also reported greater positive emotions and fewer daily hassles than mothers, or relatives or peers without children. They even showed fewer depressive symptoms than men without children, whereas mothers reported more depressive symptoms than women who do not have children.
The third study considered parenthood and well-being while engaging in childcare or interacting with children compared to other daily activities. Men were found to be happier while caring for their children than women suggesting that gender significantly impacted the association between childcare and happiness.
In terms of daily interactions also men reported greater happiness. One possible explanation given said fathers were more likely to indicate they were playing with their children while they were caring for them or interacting with them as compared to the mothers. “Fathers may fare better than mothers in part due to how they spend their time with their children,” said Katherine Nelson-Coffey, Assistant Professor at the Sewanee, The University of the South in the US.