Monday, May 9, 2011

Moms and Depression

            Mothers have a high rate of depression, which has lead to many studies on the topic. This study shows that mothers who have solid jobs have the lowest rate of depression. This can lead to a difficult decision for mothers in tradeoffs. On one hand, a working mom is giving up time that can be spent raising her kids. However, stay-at-home moms are at higher risk of developing depression. The study connects this depression rate with the income difference between a family with two working parents and one working parent. This is another tradeoff that mothers must deal with. A stay-at-home mom is gaining more time with her children, but lowering the potential income of her household. The researchers concluded that this could increase stress and lead to depression. The mother must be looking to protect her own self interest and her family's interests in her decision. Working a full time job does offer many incentives, with a steady salary. A mother who is working could be able to afford better goods for her family, which is also very appealing. Also, working mothers who make more money stimulate the economy because they have more money to spend. However, if a mother makes the decision to change from a full-time mom to a full-time worker, this could impact unemployment rates as more people look for jobs. Ultimately, the issue is a lot more complicated than just one study can cover and it should be completely up to the mother whether she works or not.


  1. I agree with you Alix on how this is more complicated than one study can cover. There are different variables like if the stay at home mom's family income is more than comfortable therefore taking away the need of the mom working. Also if the stay at home mom must stay at home due to the amount of children she has. There are different variables that play a different role in the decision making of being a stay at home mom. I completely agree with you about the trade off of spending time with kids and lowering potential income of household

  2. This is a perfect example of opportunity costs that really makes the idea seem human. As you said the choice that mothers make generally boils down to two options as you said: go to work or raise my kid(s). As with any decision the pros and cons must be weighed. Everyone wants everything. In a perfect world mothers could make a good living AND spend time raising their kids but these situations are pretty rare and opportunity costs from choosing do come into play. Decisions that involve opportunity costs are difficult by definition-this one is no exception. When one goes to work, they leave their kids in the possession of someone else and the mother's time with them is limited. Conversely if a mom stays home she risks not making enough money to support her family especially if she is a single mom. This decision is tough and whether or not one study is enough to prove the statement true or not, I wouldn't be surprised if it was. Excellent post Alix!

  3. Chris and Henri, I think you both highlight the main points of this issue. It is difficult and ultimately it is the decision of the mother on which opportunity cost is higher for her. I found it fascinating how this issue could relate to economics, even though it seems quite different.