Married with children promotes happiness

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Being married with children is found to promote happiness according to a new study from Dr. Luis Angeles from the University of Glasgow in the UK, published online in the Journal of Happiness Studies. The study shows that marriage is an important part of the happiness equation – for unmarried people there is no change in happiness from raising children.

Past suggestions that too many children can decrease satisfaction in life are too simplistic says Dr. Angeles. Instead, Dr. Angeles’ analysis takes into account age, marital status, gender, educational level and income. He found that people who are married with children experience increased happiness and satisfaction in life – more children within a marriage promotes even greater happiness.

Past studies have shown that engagement in life, and positive emotions can keep us healthier. A study published August 2009 from University of Pittsburgh researchers also shows that women who are happy and optimistic live longer lives.


Single individuals, couples who are separated, never married, or living together are more likely to report negative experiences as the result of having children.

“One is tempted to advance that children make people better off under the ‘right conditions’ - a time in life when people feel that they are ready, or at least willing, to enter parenthood. This time can come at very different moments for different individuals, but a likely signal of its approach may well be the act of marriage.”

The analysis shows that having children promotes happiness for married couples. The findings also show that more children in the household increases life satisfaction and happiness even further among married people, but can have a negative or no impact for those who are unmarried or separated.

Journal of Happiness Studies