On 'Who's Happier' Studies: Two Questions to Ask Yourself

October 22, 2014 4:33 PM

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On 'Who's Happier' Studies: Two Questions to Ask Yourself

The GMA segment reported that a survey of 1 million consumers indicates that "at the end of the day" parents are happier than non-parents. However, this survey has the flaw that other studies like it all too often have. It does not differentiate between those who want children and don't have them, those who want kids but don't want them yet, those who are undecided, and those who have no kids by choice. If it did, the research could have answered questions like these: How does happiness compare between mothers and fathers and those who don't have children but want them someday? With those who are not sure if they want kids or not? With those who are childfree and have chosen not to have them? With those who want them and have not been able to have them? Without discerning non-parent status the "who's happier" question is really not answered.

Like the non-parent differentiation flaw, few studies operationally define happiness for research purposes. This can be a reason why when it comes to studies like these the jury continues to be out. Like the consumer study GMA talked about, some studies have indicated that parents are happier. Other...

Also read: Parents often lack amusement-park safety plans

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