Parents are Happier People; Dads even more so says a new study

If you want to be happy, have kids. 

That’s according to a series of studies by researchers from the University of California, Riverside, the University of British Columbia and Stanford University.  The findings, which appear in a paper “In Defense of Parenthood: Children Are Associated With More Joy Than Misery”,  showed that parenthood is associated with happiness and meaning in life.

Participants were asked to rank how they felt during their day-to-day activities, such as watching TV, cooking, and taking care of children. Parents reported more positive feelings when taking care of children than during their other daily activities.

The study also found that dads in particular felt happier than their childless peers. But the findings were not significant for the moms. The study explained the result wasn’t unexpected. That’s because the pleasures of parenthood may be offset by the surge in responsibility and housework that arrives with motherhood.

Older and married parents also tend to be happier.  But single and young parents reported experiencing lower levels of happiness and feeling more stress than those without kids.