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Having Kids makes you Happy: Critical Analysis - Term Paper Example

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Having Kids makes you Happy: Critical Analysis

Through a critical analysis of Ali’s (2008) article titled “True or False: Having Children Makes You Happy”, this essay approaches the issue based on the thesis that having children does not make parents happy. A synopsis of Ali’s article shows the writer providing research-based evidence against the strongly held belief that children are a source of happiness to parents. The research includes Professor Gilbert’s 2006 "Stumbling on Happiness" book indicating that parents are happier before they get children and after children move out. Brooks’ 2008 study shows that parents report less happiness by 7% in comparison to childless couples. Simon’s 2005 study indicates that childless couples have significantly higher levels of emotional well-being in comparison to parents. However, a Newsweek poll shows that most parents are not ready to admit that children do not bring happiness to homes. The writer also indicates that parenting has not always lessened happiness, establishing that economic dynamics have contributed to less joyous parenting. Ali, however, states that parents report more meaning and purpose to life, besides observing that there is an intrinsic and immeasurable value to parenting. This essay argues that parenting brings more happiness to people. The very first aspect providing the rationale for this essay’s stance on the issue is based on the evidence relied upon by Ali (2008). As Richard and Elder (2) argue, critical analysis involves questioning the validity and reliability of such evidence. For Ali to arrive at the strong conclusion that the statement “having kids makes you happy” is false, she needs to present valid and reliable evidence. Gilbert’s 2006 study is based on reviews of other studies, thus forming a systematic review of data collected on the subject. Thus, Gilbert’s findings that marital satisfaction declines in the presence of children prove reliable. Whereas Brooks’ 2008 Gross National Happiness study stating that parents are less happy cannot be validated, Simon’s 2005 study shows comprehensiveness (13,000 participants) and authoritativeness as it was conducted by the National Survey of Families and Households. This makes the studies representative and valid (Golafshani 597-607). Ali does not cite a source to support the statement that pre-industrial American parents loved their children and that children contributed to the family unit. There is need for strong evidence for this view to ring some truth, and the lack of such evidence takes this away from the argument. The next evidence used by Ali to confirm that parent’s derived more satisfaction from children is drawn from McLanahan and Adams 1988 study which indicates that parenthood was less stressful in the 1950s than in the 1970s. Whereas the provision of the citation serves to validate the argument, the source is nearly a quarter century old and thus may be considered outdated. However, Ali backs McLanahan and Adams explanation of economic differences being responsible for satisfaction from parenthood between the different ages. She states that, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one needs $134,370 to $237,520 to raise a child to 17 years without adding education costs. Thus, the earlier economic differences position is upheld. The National Marriage Project's 2006 "State of Our Unions" report provides a reliable, contemporary and thus strong evidence of parents having lesser happiness from raising children in the modern age compared to 25 ...Show more


Name Professor Module Date Having Kids Makes you Happy: Critical Analysis The issue of multiplying and filling the earth is one of the divine statutes that human beings have upheld. Throughout history, the society has held the view that children are bundles of joy and blessings…
Author : angielebsack
Having Kids makes you Happy: Critical Analysis essay example
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