A new study conducted by researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University has found that a health benefit for being a parent includes suffering from the common cold virus in comparison to those who do not have children.
The researchers exposed 795 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55 to a virus that causes a cold to come on. Among many of the personal questions asked, participants were told to report if they had children. The results showed that parents were 52 percent less likely to catch the cold and those who had three or more children were 61 percent less likely.
"Although parenthood was clearly protective, we were unable to identify an explanation for this association," said study leader Sheldon Cohen. "Because we controlled for immunity to the virus, we know that these differences did not occur just because the parents were more likely to have been exposed to the virus through their children. Moreover, parents and nonparents showed few psychological or biological differences, and those that did exist could not explain the benefit of parenthood. We expect that a psychological benefit of parenthood that we did not measure may have been responsible."