Stay-At-Home Moms Face Greater Risk of Depression
Research shows working outside the home is good for a woman's mental health
New research shows that both stay-at-home moms and women who want to fit the "supermom" role are more likely to show symptoms of depression.
Stay-at-home moms have a hard time shaking off the blues because they want to have a job but yet can't afford child-care. Working moms who have unrealistic expectations when it comes to fulfilling their roles both at home and at work also face higher risks of depression than women who don't expect perfection.
"The findings really point to the mismatch between women's expectations about their ability to balance work and family. Women still do the bulk of household labor and child care, even when they're employed full time," said study author Katrina Leupp, a graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle. "Women who go into employment expecting it to be difficult -- 'I'm going to have to work full time and do the laundry at night,' but who are accepting of that are less likely to be frustrated than women who expect things to be more equal with their partners."
About 65 percent of the mothers of young children and 80 percent of women with children over age 5 are employed, according to 2006 statistics cited in the study. The research presented at the American Sociological Association does show that women who work outside the home have better mental health than stay-at-home moms.
The key finding in the study is that women who find a balance between work and home are less likely to have symptoms of depression. If you're a stay-at-home mom or a working "supermom," has this study changed your perception about your situation?