Gallup officials said they looked separately at non-employed mothers who were looking for work and those who were not looking -- to distinguish between those who might be employed because of circumstance rather than by choice. Both groups were more likely than employed mothers to report anger, sadness and depression, the survey said.
Non-employed women with young children at home were more likely than women with young children at home who are employed for pay to report experiencing sadness and anger the day before they were surveyed.
"Employed moms" were women employed full- or part-time and have a child age 18 or younger in their household, while "employed women" were those employed full- or part-time and did not have a child at home. This group included women who never had children and those whose children were grown and no longer living at home.
Stay-at-home moms lagged behind employed moms in terms of their daily positive emotions. They were less likely to say they smiled or laughed a lot, learned something interesting and experienced enjoyment and happiness "yesterday."
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index interviewed 60,799 women, ages 16-64, from Jan. 1-April 30. The survey has a margin of error of 1 percentage point.
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