Mind and Society 15 (2):219-245 (2016)

Conflicts regarding family and workplace obligations often lead to frustration, dissatisfaction and lower levels of happiness. Taking into account the current low fertility rates in many European countries, the subjective well-being of women seems to be a crucial factor in population growth strategy. The rather low reproduction level underlies the analysis of women’s subjective well-being in respect to their employment and maternity status in Europe. How much do the European countries differ in terms of females’ subjective well-being? Does employment protection legislation explain these differences through mothers’ employment patterns? This paper shows a significant negative association between the subjective well-being of women aged 17–54 and the rigidity of labor protection regulations. The conclusion stems from a multilevel model based on the European Value Study of 2008. The results showed that the subjective well-being of working mothers is higher in countries with liberal labor legislation while it is significantly lower in countries with strict employment protection legislation.
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DOI 10.1007/s11299-016-0194-3
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