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Working mums are less likely to be depressed and are healthier and happier compared to stay at home mums, according to new research.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro analysed data relating to 1,364 mothers over a 10-year period.
"In all cases with significant differences in maternal well-being, such as conflict between work and family or parenting, the comparison favoured part-time work over full-time or not working," said lead author Cheryl Buehler, professor of human development and family studies.
"However, in many cases the well-being of mums working part time was no different from mums working full time."
Mothers who worked part time reported better overall health and fewer symptoms of depression than stay-at-home mums, but there were no reported differences in health between mums employed part time and those who worked full time, the researchers found. Both part timers and full-time workers felt similarly about how their work supported family life and felt working made them a better parent.
The research found that mothers employed part time were just as involved in their child’s school as stay-at-home mums, and more involved than mums who worked full time. In addition, part-time workers mothers provided more learning opportunities for toddlers than stay-at-home mums and those working full time.