Family life and subjective well-being

Part of my research is also devoted to studies on the relationship between childbearing and parental subjective well-being. One of my contributions to this strand of research is the finding that a non-marital birth does not lower mothers’ subjective well-being. This finding, obtained together with A. Baranowska-Rataj and M. Mynarska,  challenges the previous quantitative research on this topic. Single mothers indeed have lower subjective well-being than married mothers, but this difference is caused by other life circumstances (e.g. having no partner, negative childhood experiences).

Furthermore, together with L. Mencarini and D. Vignoli, we provided an explanation for the negative effect of parenthood on maternal subjective well-being, which is often found in the literature. Namely, we demonstrated that both mothers and fathers experience a decline in subjective well-being after birth, but only if they experience strong tensions between paid work and family. Reaching good work-family balance is thus an important pre-condition for parental psychological well-being.



Spannungsfeld Arbeits- und Familienpflichten „beziehungsweise“, April 2019

Matysiak, A., Gender-sensitive family policies as a way to address low fertility in Eastern Europe. Policy brief for the United Nations Population Fund