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Good Job Protects Against Depression

May 9, 2011
Grimstad, Norway

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In a study that examined the happiness of women, it was found that having a good job was a component of happiness.  I know, a bit of snooze in this economy–who doesn’t want a good job when jobs are scarce.  The important note here is that this study focused on women wanting a good job, and the benefits a good job confers on a woman’s happiness:

The study, released Friday by the Council of Contemporary Families, found that working moms who have good jobs had among the lowest levels of depressive symptoms of all the mothers studied. Even if the women’s stated preference was to stay home, those with good jobs reported the same level of unhappiness as those who chose not to be in the paid labor force. A satisfying job seems to be a good hedge against unhappiness.

Mothers who did not work outside the home were only unhappy if they wanted to work. They were equally miserable as the mothers in the opposite position: working in a crummy job and wishing they didn’t have to.

(More on What Depresses Working Moms Most? Their Unsupportive Partners)

At a time when there are increasing reports of parents killing their children, escalating along with economic woes, it’s not really surprising to find that mothers are happier if they have a good job.  It’s no surprise to any mother that parenting is an intense job, especially since mothers end up typically doing the lion’s share of childcare, with incredibly primitive levels of “support” from our society (even with FMLA, the leave is unpaid, and women are only allowed enough time to heal physically from a routine delivery before being pushed back to work).

In fact, studies have shown an increased level of parental depression in mothers with children under the age of three:

The study, which was written by sociologists Margaret L. Usdansky at Syracuse University and Rachel A. Gordon at the University of Illinois at Chicago, using data from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD), could help in understanding the problem of maternal depression, which is beginning to concern sociologists. Other research has found high levels of depression especially among moms with kids under age three. This is bad for kids and spouses as well as mothers, and tends to strain sometimes already fragile families.

What no one wants to believe most times is that some moms may be acquaintances resent staying home, have little patience for the high demands of infants and toddlers and really don’t ever want to make lunch or watch any more Sesame Street than they get on the weekends.  Seems that having work and getting paid in a good job is pretty much important for men and women, but thank goodness someone is finally putting it into print.

Women who are mothers tend to be less healthy than their childless counterparts, and tend to have more work:

In the latest knock against parenthood, researchers from the University of Minnesota looked at 838 women and 682 men and concluded that having children — particularly for moms — is linked to an array of negative outcomes. Mothers had a higher body-mass index and didn’t eat as healthily as childless women, chugging more sugary drinks and eating more total calories and saturated fat. (More on Time.comBabies Who Start Solids Too Early More Likely To Be Obese)

Sure adds to my post about how women are choosing motherhood and marriage less frequently. For more on how marriage and childbearing are starting to become less attractive options, you can check out my blog post and reader comments. Women Don’t Want To Get Married and Have Children Because It’s a Lot of Work: Who Is Surprised? Judging by the Neanderthal comments, you will understand why some women are just saying no.
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