2020 was an especially tough year for many people around the world – but mothers with young children may have had the worst a new Gallup report.
In a year heavily marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, adults all over the world have set new records for experiences of anger, sadness, stress, and worry, the study found. And women with children under 15 at home reported that these feelings were more pronounced than in other groups.
However, the “Negative Experience Index” value for women with small children has also been higher in recent years than for people without small children and men with small children. But the index value for mothers with young children peaked at 37 in 2020, while that for men with young children – 32 – remained constant year over year.
“While 2020 was a record year for negative emotions, the world was moving in a negative direction long before the pandemic,” the Gallup report said. “But it has undoubtedly made things worse for many, including women with young children in the household who have already had these negative experiences.”
The only negative experience trending down in 2020: physical pain. But even if all groups said they were less likely than in 2019 to experience physical pain, women with young children were more often affected than their colleagues.
Gallup bases its index on surveys of people aged 15 and older, conducted in 115 countries and territories in 2020 and earlier this year, with at least 1,000 respondents per country or territory. For the questions in the survey, the respondents were asked whether they had experienced these feelings the previous day “for a large part of the day”.
“This is not to say that men with young children in the household were not under pressure,” the report added, noting that women and men with young children in most regions of the world were more likely to report these negative experiences than those without small children Children.
Many mothers in states with early closings have had to choose whether to take temporary time off to look after the children or move longer hours on nights and weekends to make up for household chores, like that Research published last summer from the US Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve.
The “double shift” of housework and care for working mothers has only become more demanding during the pandemic, a McKinsey & Co. analysis published in May also found.