Study: Working moms healthier, happier than stay-at-home moms
While the debate between working and stay-at-home mothers may never end, a new study suggests that working mothers may have less symptoms of depression and have better health than stay-at-home mothers.
The twist is, this study from the University of North Carolina focused on mothers who worked part time.
In the study, researchers looked at whether a mother’s part-time work was similar to mothers who stayed at home or mothers who worked full-time. They looked at data from more than 1,300 U.S. women and via seven different interviews conducted with mother over a 10-year period beginning in 1991.
What they found was that mothers who work part-time experience the same level of emotional well-being as mothers who work full-time. However, unlike mothers who work full-time, there were less work-family scheduling conflicts, which makes sense.
According to the release, “In all cases with significant differences in maternal well-being, such as conflict between work and family or parenting, the comparison favored part-time work over full-time or not working,” said lead author Cheryl Buehler in a news release. Buehler, professor of human development and family studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, added: “However, in many cases the well-being of moms working part time was no different from moms working full time.”
The question is whether companies will be able to accommodate part-time workers.
The study’s published in the December 2011 issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.