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A quarter of adults do not want children, and they are no less happy than you - Walla! health

2021-06-25T05:56:11.536Z

A new study has found that the proportion of non-parents is much higher than previously thought. What makes people choose not to have children and how does this affect their level of happiness and satisfaction in life?



  • health

  • parenthood

A quarter of adults do not want children, and they are no less happy than you

Kids is joy, isn't it?

Well, not everyone agrees.

A new study has found that 25 percent of adults do not want to have children, and this does not appear to harm their happiness levels.

Has parenting lost its charm?

Tags

  • parenthood

  • Children

  • psychology

Walla!

health

Sunday, 20 June 2021, 00:02

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No one disputes that the craft of parenting is arduous labor, but it has also always been considered an inexhaustible source of satisfaction and happiness. But this concept is not suitable for everyone and it seems that in recent years it has been challenged by more and more people.



A new study from the University of Michigan delves deeply into the characteristics of satisfaction and happiness of adults who have decided they are not interested in having children. Researchers Jennifer Watling Neil and Zakari Neil, lecturers in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan wanted to find out what characterizes and differentiates these people from the rest of the population.



"Most studies have not asked the questions necessary to distinguish between people who have chosen not to have children, and people who have not become parents for other reasons," said Jennifer Watling Neil.

"People who have not become parents can also be 'people who have not yet become parents' and in the future would like to have children, and also the childless people who have not been able to have children due to fertility problems or other circumstances. Past studies have grouped all these people together "Al-Horim 'and compared them as one piece to the parents," she explained.

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Parents have not shown such a positive attitude towards those who voluntarily chose not to have children (Photo: ShutterStock)

The uniqueness of the new study, published this week in the journal PLOS ONE for Psychology, is that the researchers used three questions to isolate adults who did not make children by choice, and differentiate them from parents and those who did not become parents for other reasons. The researchers used data from a database of about 1,000 adults who responded to survey questionnaires the university conducts in favor of research and social policy design.



"After weighing demographic characteristics, we found that there was no difference in life satisfaction and only limited differences in character traits between adults who chose to have children and adults who voluntarily chose not to become parents, as well as compared to adults who had not yet become parents and childless adults," said researcher Zachary Neil. “We also found that people who chose not to be parents were more liberal in their views compared to parents’ and that adults who did not belong to the ‘God of choice parents’ group had not-so-positive feelings towards those who voluntarily chose not to have children.

People who chose not to become parents were more liberal.

Couple with baby (Photo: ShutterStock)

In addition to examining the degree of satisfaction and happiness and personality traits typical of people who chose not to be parents, the study also revealed unexpected findings.

"We were mostly surprised by the number of non-parents," said Jennifer Watling Neil.

"We found that more than 1 in 4 adults in Michigan defined themselves as non-parenting. This is a much higher rate than the estimated rate of non-parents from a selection of studies and surveys conducted so far, which were based on fertility to identify non-parents," she explained.

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"In past studies, non-parenting rates ranged from 2 to 9 percent of the adult population. We believe our research method provides an accurate and better way to identify the true rate of people who consciously choose not to become parents," the researcher added.

She says given the relatively large number of non-parent adults in Michigan, more attention should be paid to their unique needs.



The researchers added that their study examined the issue at only one point in time and, therefore, did not address questions such as when those same people decided they were not interested in children, for example.

They hope their research will help the general public understand at what stage in life people choose to be non-parents and what are the factors behind this decision.

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Source: walla

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