A research that examined the response of 6670 parents in the Statistics New Zealand longitudinal Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE) led to the finding that levels of psychological stress is certainly lower among those who become parents for the first time.
The sample of people studied was exhaustive and included married, single and co-habiting parents. The study did not evaluate intentions of first time parents, whether it was planned or otherwise, but other factors like household status, employment and income were taken into account.
"It's important to note the improvements in mental health and psychological distress is positive, but not large in our findings. This is good news for new parents in New Zealand as it shows the effects of becoming a parent for the first time tends to have a positive effect on parents' mental health. Whereas, no real impact on mental health was found for parents having subsequent (second, third or fourth) children," researchers said.