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, which challenges the previous quantitative research on this topic. Instead, single mothers usually have lower subjective well-being than married mothers and this difference is caused by other factors than having a child (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