Wednesday September 19, 2018

Having Kids or Not, Life Satisfaction Remain Same

The researchers focused on the 34-46 age group

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Kids
For countries like India, where there is strong social pressure to become parents, Deaton and Stone say their argument does not apply. Pixabay
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Parents with or without kids are just two sides of the same coin: non-parents are not ‘failed’ parents and parents are not ‘failed’ non-parents, says a study.

According to researchers, factors such as higher educational attainment, higher income, better health and religiosity enhance life satisfaction and they found that parents and non-parents have similar levels of life satisfaction.

“It is simply a mistake to presume that people with children have better lives,” said Angus Deaton, the Dwight D. Eisenhower professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University.

“Some people like oranges, and some like apples, and we do not think that orange eaters should have better or worse lives than apple eaters,” he added.

However, adults with children at home experience more emotional highs and lows than those without children at home, said the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers examined data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index – a survey of 1.8 million Americans who evaluated their lives and reported daily emotional experiences between 2008 and 2012.

The researchers focused on the 34-46 age group.

kids
Representational image. Pixabay

They found that all emotions – happiness, smile, enjoyment, worry, stress and anger – were markedly higher among those who have children at home.

“Life evaluation is not the same as experienced emotions, such as happiness, enjoyment, sadness, worry or stress,” said Deaton.

“The results show that, no matter what else is taken into account, parents experience more of all of these than non-parents. There are good days and bad, ups and downs,” he added.

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For countries like India, where there is strong social pressure to become parents, Deaton and Stone say their argument does not apply.

In such countries, people may have children even when it does not increase their own life evaluation, though it may increase that of their parents or communities, said the study.

“The evidence for those countries does indeed show that parents have lower life evaluations, on average,” the study said.  (IANS)

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A Majority of Children Die Due to Lack of Basic Healthcare Facilities: UN

For children everywhere, the most precarious time is the first month of life

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Children
A malnourished child lies in a bed waiting to receive treatment at a therapeutic feeding center in a hospital in Sana'a, Yemen, Jan. 24, 2016. (VOA)

An estimated 6.3 million children died before their 15th birthdays in 2017, or one every five seconds, mostly due to a lack of water, sanitation, nutrition and basic healthcare, according to report by United Nations agencies on Tuesday.

The vast majority of these deaths – 5.4 million – occur in the first five years of life, with newborns accounting for around half of the deaths, the report said.

“With simple solutions like medicines, clean water, electricity and vaccines” this toll could be dramatically reduced, said Laurence Chandy, an expert with the U.N. children’s fund UNICEF. But without urgent action, 56 million children under five – half of them newborns – will die between now and 2030.

Globally, in 2017, half of all deaths in children under five were in sub-Saharan Africa, where one in 13 children died before their fifth birthday. In high-income countries, that number was one in 185, according to the report co-led by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the World Bank.

Children
UN: A Child Dies Every Five Seconds, Most Are Preventable Deaths. Pixabay

It found that most children under five die due to preventable or treatable causes such as complications during birth, pneumonia, diarrhoea, neonatal sepsis and malaria. Among older children – aged five to 14 – injuries become a more prominent cause of death, especially from drowning and road traffic.

For children everywhere, the most precarious time is the first month of life. In 2017, 2.5 million newborns died in their first month, and a baby born in sub-Saharan Africa or in Southern Asia was nine times more likely to die in the first month than one born in a high-income country.

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Despite these problems, the U.N. report found that fewer children are dying each year worldwide. The number of under five deaths fell to 5.4 million in 2017 from 12.6 million in 1990, while the number of deaths in five to 14 year-olds dropped to under a million from 1.7 million in the same period. (VOA)