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The Effects of Children on Adults' Psychological Well-Being: 1957-1976

Sara McLanahan and Julia Adams
Social Forces
Vol. 68, No. 1 (Sep., 1989), pp. 124-146
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2579223
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2579223
Page Count: 23
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The Effects of Children on Adults' Psychological Well-Being: 1957-1976
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Abstract

This paper examines trends in the effects of children on adults' psychological well-being between 1957 and 1976. Several indicators of well-being are examined, including measures of quality of life (happiness, satisfaction, worries), psychological distress, and perceptions of parenthood. The findings indicate that parenthood was more stressful in the 1970s than it was in the 1950s and that much of the trend among women was due to changes in employment and marital status. Although fathers experienced a similar decline in well-being, our model does not account for the trend among men. The analysis is based on the two "Americans View Their Mental Health Surveys" conducted in 1957 and 1976.

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