Working moms are healthier, happier: Study
11 June, 2012
NEW YORK: Mothers who have jobs are healthier than those who are not employed, at least when their children are very young, a new study finds.
Working mothers in the study were less depressed and reported better overall health than moms who stayed at home with their young children, though this benefit of working did not extend into children's school years.
There was no difference between the health of mothers who worked part time and those who worked full time, the researchers said.
Stay-at-home moms may be more socially isolated than working moms, which might increase their chances of being depressed, the researchers said. Stay-at-home moms might also be under more stress as a result of being at home with their children all day. This stress may be relieved somewhat when their children start school, which may explain why the link disappeared when children entered preschool.
The researchers defined working part time as working one-to-32 hours per week. About 25 percent of mothers were employed part time during the study period, although mothers moved in and out of part-time work. Mothers reported whether they experienced symptoms of depression and rated their overall health as "poor," "fair," "good" or "excellent."