Happiness begets children? Evidence for a bi-directional link between well-being and number of children Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2015 Taylor & Francis. The purpose of the current research was to examine the association between different facets of well-being and parenthood status. Specifically, using two longitudinal data sets, the present research explored whether individuals who possess high cognitive (Studies 1 & 2), emotional, and psychological well-being (Study 2) are more likely to subsequently become parents compared to their less happy counterparts. The results of both studies demonstrated that well-being at Time 1 positively predicted number of children at Time 2, controlling for a number of relevant variables (e.g. income, age). Additional analyses revealed that the relationship between cognitive well-being and subsequently having children was particularly strong for people who did not have any children previously. Potential mechanisms explaining how and why well-being may influence parenthood are discussed.

altmetric score

  • 23.95

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, J., & Hicks, J. A.

citation count

  • 4

publication date

  • March 2015