How mothers who stay at home are LESS happy than those who work – and more likely to become depressed
13:13 GMT, 22 May 2012
Stay-at-home mothers are not as happy as mothers who are employed, a new study has showed.
Gallup found that non-employed mothers in the U.S. experience more negative emotions such as worry, sadness, stress, anger and depression, than those who work.
The research, which looked at 60,799 randomly-chosen women, showed that 41per cent of stay-at-home mothers experience worry while just 34per cent of employed mothers experience the same feeling.
Unhappy: A study has found that unemployed mothers are less happy than those with jobs. Stay-at-home mothers are also more likely to report depression
The women, who were all aged between 18 and 64, were interviewed by the company over the phone between January 1 and April 30, 2012.
The study also stated that stay-at-home mothers 'are also much more likely to report having ever been diagnosed with depression' than mothers who had jobs.
It found that 28per cent of mothers who don't work experience depression while just 17per cent of employed mothers experience the same feeling.
The findings also determined that 26per cent of stay-at-home mothers experienced sadness while 16per cent of employed mothers were found to be sad.
Stress was found in 50per cent of stay-at-home mothers but in 48per cent of mothers who work.
Anger was found in 19per cent of stay-at-home mothers and in 14per cent of employed mothers.
Mothers who work are 'about as emotionally well-off as working women who do not have children at home,' the study continued.
It also stated that mothers who do not work were 'less likely to say they smiled or laughed a lot, learned something interesting and experienced enjoyment and happiness'.
'Isolation is a killer. The more we're alone, the more we look at all the things we feel are not right with our lives'
When it came to positive feelings, 91per cent of employed mothers were found to experience happiness. 86per cent of stay-at-home mothers reported the same feeling.
Dr Robi Ludwig, a New York psychotherapist, told the Today show: 'Isolation is a killer. We as human beings are not meant to be alone. The more we're alone, the more we look at all the things we feel are not right with our lives.
'It contributes to people getting into a negative, self-attacking mentality.'
She added that stay-at-home mothers may struggle to feel as though they are accomplishing things for themselves.
'It's hard to define themselves because they're overloaded with the have-to-dos of the home,' she said. 'It's a job that's never complete.
'There's always something that needs to be done.They can feel like an indentured servant.'