Study: Stay-at-home mothers more likely to have symptoms of depression than working moms

Laura Donovan Contributor
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Stay-at-home moms are more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression than their employed counterparts, according to new research.

The study, which was written by University of Washington sociology graduate student Katrina Leupp, is in line with other research that has found working outside the home to be beneficial for a mother’s mental health. Stay-at-home mothers experience higher levels of depression as a result of wanting to hold a job but not having adequate resources or funds for childcare.

But, as to be expected, working moms don’t have it easy either. The study also reveals that mothers with “supermom” expectations have a better chance of feeling guilty and frustrated than working moms who anticipate the problems of managing family time with work duties.

“Women who expect it’s going to be hard and are employed nevertheless have better mental health outcomes,” Leupp said at this year’s American Sociological Association meeting. “Work-family conflict is much more likely to bring about feelings of guilt for women as compared to men — guilt for the things you can’t do.”

“Supermoms” may also fall into depressive tendencies because they thought their spouses or significant others would contribute more to household chores and childcare.