Can Parents Manage Their Children’s Future Happiness?—: A Retrospective Inquiry

Guy Barokas, Tal Shavit, Arie Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The article addresses a novel concept: Parental Happiness Management (PHM)—which refers to parents’ educational or decisions aimed to improve their children’s well-being in adulthood. We ran a survey among 1,110 adults and asked them to retrospectively assess four types of parental decisions: discipline, autonomy, pro-social preferences, and parental acceptance. The results confirm the association between retrospective assessments of PHM and adults’ subjective well-being as measured by global life evaluation, positive, and negative feelings, and a sense of meaning in life. We report a positive association between discipline and meaning in life, but also between discipline and negative feelings. Education for pro-social preferences was found to be positively associated with all components of subjective well-being. The child’s autonomy was found to be positively associated with global life evaluation. We view parents as managers, who allocate their limited parental resources so as to maximize their children’s well-being in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1386-1408
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • discipline
  • happiness
  • meaning
  • parental education
  • pro-social preferences

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