Working Moms or Stay-at-Home Moms -- Who’s More Prone to Depression? Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump
Did you take a guess? Turns out, it’s neither. The WM/SAHM debate will probably always rage on, but a new study says it’s not a mom’s employment status that puts her at risk for depression, but rather it’s her own preferences and her job quality that influence her risk.
The study, conducted by the Council on Contemporary Families, focused on moms of kids ages three and under, asking them about their employment status and looking for symptoms of depression. Researchers found no difference in the rate of depressive symptoms between the moms who were employed and those who worked, but as they dug deeper, they did find factors that influenced their likelihood of symptoms. For working moms, it was job quality -- if there was a lack of advancement opportunity, appreciation, respect, support or there was a too-large workload or lower-than-deserved pay for their work, they were more likely to be depressed. Working moms who felt a sense of accomplishment and got rewarded and recognized on the job were at a lower risk for depression. As far as stay-at-home moms were concerned, they were less likely to be depressed if they didn’t want a job.
So this is just one more piece of evidence that there’s no right “side” to the WM/SAHM debate and that the moms themselves are the best ones to make the choice that makes the most sense for them and their families.
Moms: Do you work or stay at home? What makes you happy/unhappy with your employment status? Plus, more from The Bump:
Baby Blues vs. Depression: How to Tell the Difference
Why You Hate Your Husband (After Baby Arrives)
Checklist: Maternity Leave
See More: Mommy Life
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