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The mental wellbeing of parents and the childless in a European context: The case of France and Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

A growing number of individuals in Europe and other developed regions of the world are

remaining childless throughout their life course. These individuals will lack major social and

caring components relative to parents and likely have other needs and issues as they age and as

the proportion of childless continues to grow. It has previously been shown that partnered

individuals and parents’ live longer and healthier lives, but studies into the mental health of

childless individuals have been inconclusive. In the present study I investigate the relationship

between mental wellbeing and childlessness in France and Sweden. The mental wellbeing of the

respondents was measured using a short-form of a depression scale. The result of the study

showed that the effects of childlessness were affected by country of residence, gender, parental

status as well as marital status. Further, a poor relationship to one’s children had a negative

impact on mental wellbeing. Individual attitude towards childlessness did not have an effect on

mental wellbeing however, and contrary to previous studies and the first hypothesis of this study,

being childless did not have a negative effect on mental wellbeing. The results are limited by the

nature of the sample, where a more complete measure of the depression scale would have been

beneficial. Future research could further investigate the significance of positive family

relationship compared to those with poor relationships and the childless. As the proportion of

childless individuals continues to grow there will be ample research opportunities into their

mental wellbeing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 35
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-153832OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-153832DiVA, id: diva2:1188189
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Examiners
Available from: 2018-03-07 Created: 2018-03-06 Last updated: 2018-03-07Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • en-US
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