A study conducted by Florida State University researchers Robin W. Simon, Vanderbilt University, and Ranae J. Evenson, has revealed that parenthood can actually be linked to higher levels of depression. Certain types of parenthood may also lead to higher levels of depression. This has been published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. The National Survey of Families and Households data was utilized for the analysis.
The research went beyond the emotional well-being and studied the connection between symptoms of depression and parenthood. Parents display depression levels which are absent among non-parents. There are also variations where with regard to depression levels, like in the case of unmarried parents there were higher levels of depression when compared to married parents. Those parents with minor children also experienced lesser levels of depression.
Greater stress levels were not seen among stepparents either, while higher levels were seen in the case of parents with non-residential adult stepchildren, nonresidential adult children, adult children, and non-custodial children.
There are no gender differences with regard to parenthood and depression, according to the study. The findings are altogether different from the results conducted earlier, which had revealed that the emotional well being of mothers is taxed by parenthood. The marital status differences also play a role in depression and parenthood. Single parents reported remarkably higher levels of depression than married parents, which is believed to be connected to the emotional well-being associated with marriage.