What makes mothers happy

 

Adam Galovan, a doctoral student (University of Missouri, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, USA) with his colleagues from Brigham Young University and Utah State University (USA) studied 160 families with children. Researchers looked at how mothers and fathers shared daily routines and how it affected their marriage.

Most of the parents were between 25 and 30 years, had children younger than five and were married for an average of five years. 40 percent of the mothers worked full- or part-time.

«Sharing can mean something different to every couple," Adam Galovan said. „It could be taking turns changing diapers or one parent watching the children while the other prepares dinner. Doing things together and having mutual, agreed-upon divisions of labor benefited both spouses.“

So, researchers found out that relationship depends on how mothers perceive engagement of fathers in routine family work. The more women thought that their partners help, the better the relationships were.

„Wives in our study viewed father involvement and participation in household chores as related. Doing household chores and being engaged with the children seem to be important ways for husbands to connect with their wives, and that connection is related to better couple relationships.“

The bonds between fathers and their children also contributed to couples' marital satisfaction, Galovan said.

«When wives felt their husbands were close to their children, both spouses reported better marriages," said Galovan. „The father-child bond was particularly important for wives.“

The study «Father Involvement, Father-Child Relationship Quality, and Satisfaction with Family Work: Actor and Partner Influences on Marital Quality," was published in the Journal of Family Issues.