New research provides a better understanding of just how important the special relationship between parent and child truly is.
In an article at the Institute for Family Studies, Jason Manning, a sociology professor at West Virginia University, highlighted several studies that show a strong link between parenthood and lower suicide rates.
“For over a century, at least since the pioneering work of French sociologist Emile Durkheim, we have known that social bonds—or their absence—plays a crucial role in suicide,” Manning wrote. “Durkheim famously found married people had lower rates of suicide than the unmarried and that parents had lower rate than the childless.”
He cited a 2020 Scandinavian study that found significantly lower suicide rates among parents with one child compared to childless individuals and even lower rates among parents with two or more children.
The researchers followed more than 1.5 million Swedish men and women for two decades and compared suicide rates between those with and without children.
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“Having one, two, three or more children was associated with 64%, 79% and 78% lower suicide rate, respectively, compared with having no children,” the researchers found.
Even more stark was the comparison between mothers and childless women: “In fathers with one, two, three or more children suicide rate was 54%, 64% and 59% lower, respectively, compared with non-fathers whereas in mothers was 70%, 83% and 93% lower, respectively, compared with non-mothers,” according to the study.
Manning said studies in Australia, Norway and Denmark found similar results, especially among women.
Though his article did not mention abortion, several studies also have found a higher risk of suicide among post-abortive women compared to mothers who give birth to their children.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, suicide rates have been rising in recent years at the same time as birth and marriage rates have been declining.
According to Manning’s research:
Between 1999 and 2018, the suicide rate rose by 35%, from 10.5 per 100,000 to a peak of 14.2 per 100,000 before declining slightly in 2019. Suicide now kills about 45,000 Americans per year. The increase brings new attention to the social factors that might shape a person’s decision to end their own life. Among these, family relationships stand out.
Except in abusive situations, Manning said family relationships have “protective effects” on people’s lives.
That should be obvious, but in today’s pro-abortion culture, too many individuals have forgotten the blessing and value that a child brings into so many lives, including parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings and cousins.