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When it comes to who is happier, people with kids or those without, most research points to the latter. But a new study suggests that parents are happier than non-parents later in life, when their children move out and become sources of social enjoyment rather than stress.

当涉及到有孩子的人还是没有孩子的人谁更快乐这个问题上,大多数研究结果都指向后者。但一项新的研究表明,当孩子搬出去后,孩子对于父母来说从压力来源变为了社交乐趣时,有孩子的人比没有孩子的人更快乐。



Returning the favour爱好的回归

This may be because when children grow up and move out, they provide social enrichment to their parents minus the day-to-day stress of looking after them, says Becker. They may also give something back by providing care and financial support to their parents, he says. “Hence, children’s role as caregivers, financial support or simply as social contact might outweigh negative aspects of parenthood,” he says.

贝克尔说,这可能是因为当孩子长大搬出去后,他们为父母提供了丰富的社交活动,而父母也没有了每天照顾他们的压力。他说,孩子也可能通过提供照顾和经济支持来回报父母。他说:“因此,孩子作为照顾者、经济支持或仅仅作为社交接触的角色,可能会抵消或超过给父母带来的负面影响。”

The picture is similar in the US, says Nicholas Wolfinger at the University of Utah. He recently analysed 40 years of data from the US General Social Survey and found that empty-nest parents aged 50 to 70 were 5 to 6 per cent more likely to report being very happy than those with kids still at home.

犹他大学的尼古拉斯·沃尔芬格表示,美国的情况也类似。他最近分析了美国社会综合调查40年来的数据,发现50至70岁的空巢父母报告自己非常幸福的可能性比那些仍有孩子在家的父母高5%至6%。