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Maternal Life Satisfaction and Child Outcomes: Are They Related?

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  • Berger, Eva M.
  • Spiess, C. Katharina

Abstract

This paper investigates the association between maternal life satisfaction and the developmental functioning of 2-3-year-old children as well as the socio-emotional behavior of 5-6-year-old children. We use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), which allows us to control for a rich set of child and parental characteristics and to use the mother's life satisfaction before the birth of her child as an instrument to eliminate potential reverse causality. The results indicate that the more satisfied the mother, the better her child's verbal skills and the lower his or her socio-emotional problems. The relation is more pronounced for boys than for girls. The results are robust even when mothers' personality or mothers' cognitive skills are controlled for.

Suggested Citation

  • Berger, Eva M. & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2011. "Maternal Life Satisfaction and Child Outcomes: Are They Related?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 142-158, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:1:p:142-158
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    Cited by:

    1. Jianghong Li & Matthias Pollmann-Schult, 2016. "Fathers’ Commute to Work and Children’s Social and Emotional Well-Being in Germany," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 488-501, September.
    2. Anita Fichtl & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2012. "Betreuungsgeld," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 65(21), pages 38-44, November.
    3. Andrea M. Mühlenweg & Franz G. Westermaier & Brant Morefield, 2016. "Parental health and child behavior: evidence from parental health shocks," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 577-598, September.
    4. Franz Westermaier & Brant Morefield & Andrea Mühlenweg, 2013. "Impacts of Parental Health Shocks on Children’s NonCognitive Skills," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201312, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    5. Sanni N. Breining & Joseph J. Doyle, Jr. & David N. Figlio & Krzysztof Karbownik & Jeffrey Roth, 2017. "Birth Order and Delinquency: Evidence from Denmark and Florida," NBER Working Papers 23038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Sandner, Malte, 2013. "Effects of Early Childhood Intervention on Maternal Employment, Fertility and Well-Being. Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-516, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    7. Frauke H. Peter, 2013. "Trick or Treat?: Maternal Involuntary Job Loss and Children's Non-cognitive Skills," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1297, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Malte Sandner, 2015. "Effects of Early Childhood Intervention on Fertility and Maternal Employment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 799, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    9. Katrin Huber, 2015. "Moving to an Earnings-Related Parental Leave System: Do Heterogeneous Effects on Parents Make Some Children Worse Off?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 791, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    10. Morefield, Brant & Mühlenweg, Andrea M. & Westermaier, Franz, 2011. "Impacts of parental health on children's development of personality traits and problem behavior: Evidence from parental health shocks," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-049, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. repec:pal:easeco:v:43:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_eej.2015.48 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Huber, Katrin, 2015. "Moving to an earnings-related parental leave system do heterogeneous effects on parents make some children worse off?," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113044, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Katrin Huber, 2015. "Moving to an earnings-related parental leave system – do heterogeneous effects on parents make some children worse off?," Working Papers 160, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    14. repec:zbw:espost:168355 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life satisfaction Subjective well-being Mothers Child development Skill formation;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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