Editor's note

It's a question many parents wrestle with: should we have a second (or third?) child, or should we stick with one? Many will opt for a second, reasoning that it can't be that much more onerous than caring for one and anyway, we've done it all before so it will be less stressful this time. But new research by Leah Rupppanner and colleagues suggests that thinking may be mistaken. Using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, they found that a second child doubles the time pressure on parents, and for mothers in particular, this can have a significant impact on their mental health.

Amanda Dunn

Section Editor: Politics + Society

Top story

While the first child improves parents’ mental health, a second child does not. Shutterstock

Having a second child worsens parents’ mental health: new research

Leah Ruppanner, University of Melbourne; Francisco Perales, The University of Queensland; Janeen Baxter, The University of Queensland

Many parents decide to have a second child in the expectation that two can't be more work that one – but new research shows that idea to be mistaken.

If your child is staying home or allowed to go out without supervision while on school holidays, it’s a good idea to set some ground rules for their safety. Shutterstock

Home alone: how to keep your kids safe (and out of trouble) when you’re at work these holidays

Natalie Gately, Edith Cowan University

Here's some advice for concerned working parents with kids at home during school holidays, based on our research on home security, burglaries and young offenders.

Paper not plastic. Adina Habich/Shutterstock.com

How to have yourself a plastic-free Christmas

Manuela Taboada, Queensland University of Technology; Glenda Amayo Caldwell, Queensland University of Technology; Hope Johnson, Queensland University of Technology; Leonie Barner, Queensland University of Technology; Rowena Maguire, Queensland University of Technology

Christmas is hectic, and it can be easy just to go with the flow and vow to cut your plastic use in the new year. But here are some easy steps you can take now to make your Christmas plastic-free.

Politics + Society

Environment + Energy

Health + Medicine

Arts + Culture

  • The great movie scenes: Back to the Future

    Bruce Isaacs, University of Sydney

    Back to the Future is one of the most loved films from the 1980s, and galvanised audiences across every demographic. In this episode of Close-Up, Bruce Isaacs looks at the politics underpinning the film.

Science + Technology


  • Afterlife of the mine: lessons in how towns remake challenging sites

    Laura Harper, Monash University; Alysia Bennett, Monash University; Ross Brewin, Monash University

    The industrial patterns of mining shaped many Australian towns, which found varied uses for disused mine sites. The mining boom ensures the challenges these sites present will be with us a long time.

Business + Economy


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