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Tiger Moms Are Happier People, Study

Update Date: Oct 31, 2013 06:02 PM EDT

Tiger moms may have a bad reputation, but new research reveals that they may be happier and more fulfilled- even if their kids don't get straight A's. Researchers found that parents who put their children before themselves are happier than those who do not.

The latest findings show that parents who prioritize their children's wellbeing over their own are not only happier, but also derive more meaning in life from their parenting responsibilities.

"These findings stand in contrast to claims in the popular media that prioritizing children's well-being undermines parents' well-being," the researchers wrote in the study.

The latest study consisted of two parts.

In the first part of the study, parents were asked to complete a child-centrism scale to measure their parenting style. Parents were then asked to complete a survey that measured their happiness and meaning in life that they felt from having children by answering statements like "My children make my life meaningful."

The study found that child-centric parents were significantly more likely to report higher happiness and a sense of purpose in life derived from having children.

In the second part of the study, parents were asked to retell their previous day's activities and report how they felt during each activity. Researchers found that more child-centric parents had greater positive feelings, less negative feelings, and experienced more meaning in life during child-care activities. They also found that the wellbeing of more child-centric parents was not affected negatively throughout the rest of the day. Researchers said these findings suggest that the child-centric approach to parenting does not harm parental wellbeing when parents are not with their children.

"These findings suggest that the more care and attention people give to others, the more happiness and meaning they experience," researchers concluded. "From this perspective, the more invested parents are in their children's well-being-that is, the more 'child centric' parents are-the more happiness and meaning they will derive from parenting."

The findings are published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

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