FRIDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Many parents exaggerate
their levels of parental joy to justify and accept the high cost of
raising children, new research suggests.
The study included 80 fathers and mothers, each with at least
one child under age 18. The Canadian researchers had half the
parents focus on the financial costs of parenting by having them
read a government document estimating that it costs more than
$190,000 to raise a child to age 18.
The other parents were given this document, but also received
information that explained that adult children often provide
financial and practical support to aging parents.
All of the parents then underwent psychological tests to measure
how much they idealized parenting and to assess their feelings of
discomfort and uneasiness during the study.
Those whose feelings of emotional discomfort were measured right
after reading about the cost of raising children felt much worse
than those who had been presented with the more balanced view of
parenting, the researchers reported.
But the negative feelings eased if those parents were given some
time to idealize parenting and family life, said researchers
Richard Eibach and Steven Mock, psychological scientists at the
University of Waterloo.
The study is published in the current issue of the journal
The American Academy of Pediatrics discusses