Working moms healthier than their stay-at-home peers

Working moms are less likely to be depressed and are healthier and happier compared to their counterparts, who prefer to stay at home when their kids are very young, a new study has suggested.

Researchers analysed National Institute for Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development data, beginning in 1991 with interviews of 1,364 mothers shortly after their child`s birth and including subsequent interviews and observations spanning more than 10 years.

`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, PhD, professor of human development and family studies, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

`However, in many cases the well-being of moms working part time was no different from moms working full time.`

For example, mothers employed part time reported better overall health and fewer symptoms of depression than stay-at-home moms, while there were no reported differences in general health or depressive symptoms between moms employed part time and those who worked full time, the study said.

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