When Life Happens: Investigating Short and Long-Term Effects of Life Stressors on Life Satisfaction in a Large Sample of Norwegian Mothers
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Happiness Studies. 2018, . 10.1007/s10902-018-0024-x
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of major life stressors on the short and long-term life satisfaction (LS) of Norwegian mothers using data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort study (MoBa, N = 46,342). Data on LS were collected at T1 (6 months postpartum) and T3 (36 months postpartum), and data on life stressors at T2 (18 months postpartum) and T3. Altogether, 24,216 participants reported life stressors between T1 and T2, and 25,284 between T2 and T3. Life stressors had significant negative short-term and long-term effects on LS. Experiencing multiple stressors increased the negative impact on satisfaction linearly. Relationship dissolution, economic problems, becoming seriously ill, and conflict with family/friends most strongly predicted short-term LS (Cohen’s d − .18 to − 1.15). Being pressured to sexual acts, relationship dissolution, economic problems and becoming seriously ill most strongly predicted long-term LS (Cohen’s d − .15 to − 1.05). When calculating the overall societal burden of life stressors, economic problems, conflict with family/friends, and work-related problems were shown to be particularly detrimental to maternal life satisfaction.