Relationships and family

Satisfaction about parenting

In 2019, we collated survey data collected in 2011, 2014 and 2017 from participants in Cohort 1 who were aged between 43 and 44 years (corresponding to the popular term, Generation X) in 2017 to examine their level of life satisfaction since becoming a parent and their concerns for the future of their children.

Overall, we found that levels of life satisfaction declined overtime. When we examined levels of satisfaction with various aspects of parenting, we discovered that parents were least satisfied with material issues, such as the availability of quality/affordable childcare; the availability of maternity/paternity entitlements; and with their ability to balance paid work with family commitments.

Parents’ level of satisfaction from 2011-2017

Graph: Relationships - Parents’ level of satisfaction from 2011-2017

We also examined parents’ concerns about the future of their children, finding that the top two concerns were also about material aspects, such as the cost of living and the cost of education. Other concerns included: environmental issues; health care costs; and their children’s ability to develop positive relationships. It also worth noticing that parental concerns about their children’s mental health increased significantly between 2014 to 2017.

Parents’ levels of concerns about children’s future

Relationships - Graph: Parents’ levels of concerns about children’s future

You can read more about parenting well-being and futures in our report ‘Parenting in the Twenty-First Century: Preparing the next generation of Australians for uncertain futures’ by Eric Fu, Jenny Chesters and HernĂ¡n Cuervo which can be accessed here.