STAY-at-home mothers may give the impression of living the perfect lifestyle - with all the time in the world to bond with their children.
But a new study has revealed that they are more likely to be depressed and suffer ill health than working mums. Researchers from the University of North Carolina analysed more than 10 years of data, starting in 1991 with interviews of 1,364 mothers shortly after their child’s birth and following them over a decade. The findings were published in the December issue of the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Family Psychology. ‘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, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. ‘However, in many cases the well-being of mums working part time was no different from mums working full time.’ For example, mothers employed part time reported better overall health and fewer symptoms of depression than stay-at-home mums. –MOL