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Parenthood, Work and Leisure

Does the lifestyle before childbirth influences the wellbeing of the new parents?
Copyright: Liderina

It is well known that having a child requires some lifestyle adjustments. Parenthood can hinder the wellbeing of new parents since it is difficult to combine the demands of a child with work and leisure. In this study, A. Roeters, J.J. Mandemakers and M. Voorpostel  take into account the lifestyle differences of individuals before becoming parents. Using data from eleven waves of the Swiss Household Panel, the researchers investigate to what extent individuals’ participation in leisure activities and paid work moderates the effects of parenthood on wellbeing. Their findings indicate that parenthood had a negative impact on men’s wellbeing, especially for those who had a more active lifestyle before having a child. The researchers also found a negative effect of parenthood for women who were working long hours before pregnancy and frequently participated in leisure activities. These results suggest that people who participated less in activities, such as sports, socializing and cultural events, before becoming parents had less difficulties after child birth. They seem to have more flexibility to better adapt to the new demands of parenthood. 

 

Source: Roeters, Anne, Mandemakers, Jornt J., Voorpostel, Marieke (2017): Parenthood and Well-being: The Moderating Role of Leisure and Paid Work. European Journal of Population (32): pp. 381-401.