How money might make parenting less meaningful

Published: Saturday, March 1 2014 8:37 p.m. MST

Updated: Saturday, March 1 2014 8:37 p.m. MST

There is a link between your finances and parental well-being.

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Money and parenting don’t mix, according to a study presented Feb. 14 at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) conference.

Counsel and Heal, a Web-based mental health and counseling publication, says the study suggests that the link between personal finances and parenting has a large effect on personal well-being.

“The findings revealed that simultaneously activating goals for both moneymaking and satisfying the needs of their children make parents feel like what they were doing was less meaningful,” the article said. And like Psych Central, it said that the findings were more pronounced in women.

Kostadin Kushlev of the University of British Columbia was quoted by Counsel and Heal’s as saying that "Money seems to compromise meaning for mothers, but not for fathers when they are spending time with their children. This finding is consistent with other, unpublished research that suggests that money tends to activate achievement and self-promotion motivations more strongly in women than men."

Writing for Psych Central, the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health social network, Rick Nauert, P.hD., breaks down how the study examines the impact of wealth on meaning in parenthood.

According to Nauert, this new research gives an insight into the link between money and “parental well-being.” But more importantly, it offers a new understanding of whether parents are “happier or less happy than their childless counterparts.”

He goes on to write that the study suggests “merely thinking about money, especially for women, diminishes the meaning people derive from parenting.”

Medical Xpress, a Web-based medical and health news service and part of the renowned Science X network, also weighed in on the study, saying this is yet another reason not to mix work and family.

Until now “social scientist have been unable to identify the psychological and demographic factors that influence parental happiness.” This new research not only offers the link between money and parental well-being, but “also a new model for understanding a variety of factors that affect whether parents are happier or less happy than their childless counterparts,” which includes the conflicting attention of money and family.

The moral of the story, as the article goes on to stress, is that it is very important to separate your work from your family so you don’t confuse the importance of the two.

Erik Raymond is experienced in national and international politics. He relocated from the Middle East where he was working on his second novel. He produces content for DeseretNews.com. You can reach him at:

eraymond@deseretdigital.com

@RaymondErik

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