The Scientific Study of People Who Are Single:
An Annotated Bibliography

Bella M. DePaulo
Chair, Academic Advisory Board of the Spectrum Institute
Research and Policy Division of the
American Association for Single People (AASP)

January 2, 2004


3. Parents, Children, and Adults Who Are Not Parents  

Implications of Having Children

What are the implications of having children for mental health, physical health, self-esteem, happiness, social networks, social support, and socioeconomic status? How do the implications differ for women versus men, and for parents of different ages? What changes in the lives of parents when children leave home? The readings in this section are not specific to the implications for single people of having children, but that topic is covered.

Arendell, T. (2000). Conceiving and investigating motherhood: The decade’s scholarship. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 1192-1207.

Avellar, S., & Smock, P. J. (2003). Has the price of motherhood declined over time? A cross-cohort comparison of the motherhood wage penalty. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65, 597-607.

Baumeister, R. F. (1991). Meanings of life. New York: Guilford. (Appendix B, "The parenthood paradox," pp. 388-396.)

Beckman, L. J. (1981). Effects of social interaction and children’s relative inputs on older women’s psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41, 1075-1086.

Bell, D. C. (2001). Evolution of parental caregiving. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5, 216-229.

Bost, K. K., Cox, M. J., Burchinal, M. R., & Payne, C. (2002). Structural and supportive changes in couples’ family and friendship networks across the transition to parenthood. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, 517-531.

Budig, M. J., & England, P. (2001). The wage penalty for motherhood. American Sociological Review, 662, 204-225.

Coltrane, S. (2000). Fatherhood and marriage in the 21st century. National Forum, 80, 25-28.

Connidis, I. A., & McMullin, J. A. (1993). To have or have not: Parent status and the subjective well-being of older men and women. The Gerontologist, 33, 630-636.

Costello, E. J. (1991). Married with children: Predictors of mental and physical health in middle-aged women. Psychiatry, 54, 292-305.

Crittenden, A. (2001). The price of motherhood: Why the most important job in the world is still the least valued. NY: Henry Holt.

Demo, D. H., & Cox, M. J. (2000). Families with children: A review of research in the 1990s. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 876-895.

DiQuinzio, P. (1999). The impossibility of motherhood: Feminism, individualism, and the problem of mothering. NY: Routledge.

Eggebeen, D. J., & Knoester, C. (2001). Does fatherhood matter for men? Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 381-393.

Friedman, D., Hechter, M., & Kanazawa, S. (1994). A theory of the value of children. Demography, 31, 375-401.

Gallagher, S. K., & Gerstel, N. (2001). Connections and constraints: The effects of children on caregiving. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 265-275.

Glenn, N. D., & Weaver, C. N. (1979). A note on family situation and global happiness. Social Forces, 57, 960-967.

Hays, S. (1996). The cultural contradictions of motherhood. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Helms-Erickson, H. (2001). Marital quality ten years after the transition to parenthood: Implications of the timing of parenthood and the division of housework. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 1099-1110.

Henretta, J. C., Grundy, E. Y., & Harris, S. (2001). Socioeconomic differences in having living parents and children: A U.S.-British comparison of middle-aged women. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 852-867.

Hewlett, S. A. (2002). Creating a life: Professional women and the quest for children. NY: Talk Miramax Books.

Hofferth, S. L., & Anderson, K. G. (2003). Are all dads equal? Biology versus marriage as a basis for paternal investment. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65, 213-232.

Ishii-Kuntz, M., & Seccombe, K. (1989). The impact of children upon social support networks throughout the life course. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 777-790.

Kalil, A., & Kunz, J. (2002). Teenage childbearing, marital status, and depressive symptoms in later life. Child Development, 73, 1748-1760.

Lopata, H. Z. (1994). Circles and Settings. State University of New York Press.

Munch, A., McPherson, J. M., Smith-Lovin, L. (1997). Gender, children, and social contact: The effects of childrearing for men and women. American Sociological Review, 62, 509-520.

Nomaguchi, K. M., & Milkie, M. A. (2003). Costs and rewards of children: The effects of becoming a parent on adults’ lives. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65, 356-374.

Oates, G. L. (1997). Self-esteem enhancement through fertility? Socioeconomic prospects, gender, and mutual influence. American Sociological Review, 62, 965-973.

Stewart, S. D., Manning, W. D., & Smock, P. J. (2003). Union formation among men in the U. S.: Does having prior children matter? Journal of Marriage and Family, 65, 90-104.

Twenge, J. M., Campbell, W. K., & Foster, C. A. (2003). Parenthood and marital satisfaction: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65, 574-583.

Waldfogel, J. (1997). The effect of children on women’s wages. American Sociological Review, 62, 209-217.

White, L., & Edwards, J. N. (1990). Emptying the nest and parental well-being: An analysis of national panel data. American Sociological Review, 55, 235-242.


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