• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Having kids later makes for a happy family

DPA/The Local · 6 Jul 2015, 12:21

Published: 06 Jul 2015 12:21 GMT+02:00

The study is good news for all those who decide to put off having children until later in life.

If you wait until you are 34 you are much more likely to respond positively to the birth of your first child and then to remain happy throughout the child's upbringing, the research conducted by the Max Planck Institute in Rostock suggests.

The researchers came to their conclusions after looking into the well being of 7,000 parents.

But for those who make the plunge into real adulthood between the ages of 18 and 22 the story is quite different.

The researchers in Rostock observed levels of happiness among this age group dropping before the birth of their child.

Even after the child was born and grew up the happiness of the parents did not rise above the baseline, the researchers found.

This same effect was noticed in in parents who had their first child between the ages of 23 and 34, although it was not as extreme.

Third time lucky?

Max Planck Institute researchers, who conducted the study in cooperation with the University of Western Ontario in Canada, also found that the number of children has a strong impact on parents' happiness.

In bad news for all those third children among us, the findings show that if you want to be happy you are best stopping at two.

While the arrival of the first and second child gives parents a discernible boost, the third makes no positive impact on the parents' wellbeing.

The opposite may in fact be true. The Rostock scientists noted a slight negative impact on happiness levels with the arrival of a third child, although they were quick to point out the difference was not statistically significant.

Story continues below…

The results of the study correspond in a "amazingly exact way" to the changing life choices that have taken place in the industrialized world over recent decades, they argue.

The trend towards having children in one's mid-thirties and the reduction in the number of three, four or five child families has long been attributed to changes in societal values or to the incompatibility of career and family.

But the German researchers now have another explanation.

"Whoever observes happiness increasing among those who start families later in life, when they have greater financial and social security, and also that people are happiest with no more than two children, is likely to make similar life choices," the researchers argue.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Munich shooting
Munich gunman inspired by rightwing Breivik: police
Photo: DPA

The lone teenager who shot dead nine people in a gun rampage in Munich was "obsessed" with mass killers such as Norwegian rightwing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Islamic State group, police said Saturday.

Munich shooting
Turks, Kosovans and a Greek among shooting victims
Photo: DPA

Three Turkish citizens were among the nine people killed in Germany's Munich mall shooting. Three Kosovans were also among the nine victims.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman was likely not Isis terrorist: police
Flowers laid at the Olympia Shopping Centre underground station. Photo: DPA

According to initial investigations by Munich police, the young man who went on a shooting rampage in Munich on Friday evening was a lone gunman without motive, not a terrorist.

Munich shooting
'Lone' Munich shooter kills nine, commits suicide
Photo: DPA

A teenage German-Iranian gunman who killed nine people in a shooting spree at a busy Munich shopping centre and then committed suicide had likely acted alone, German police said Saturday.

As it happened
Nine dead in shooting rampage in Munich
File photo: DPA

Nine people are dead after "at least one person" went on a shooting spree in a Munich shopping centre on Friday evening. An attacker is believed to be among the dead.

German Turkish community split by unrest after coup plot
Pro-Erdogan protesters in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Hatred between supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and those opposed to him has exploded on social media in Germany in the wake of a failed coup attempt last Friday.

Germany stresses defence of Baltics after Trump comments
Photo: DPA

Germany on Friday stressed its promise to protect its NATO allies after White House hopeful Donald Trump called the commitment into question.

Three quarters of Germans fear terror attack 'soon'
Police guard a football stadium. Photo: DPA

The figure has shot up from 69 percent just two weeks ago.

Starving stork is unexpected customer at pharmacy
Photo: DPA

Was it on a mission to deliver the morning-after pill instead of babies?

Anti-drugs campaign is Scientology in disguise: spies
The Church of Scientology's German headquarters in Berlin. Photo: DPA

The controversial church is considered an "anti-constitutional sect" in Germany.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Analysis & Opinion
Nice was an attack on France, not on Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,799
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd