African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 389

Full Length Research Paper

Children as a source of happiness within the Iranian families: Profiles and challenges

Mohammad Taghi Sheykhi
Sociology, Department of Social Science, Al-Zahra University, Tehran or Pasdaran, Golnabi Street, Nategh-E-Noori Street, Koche Damghani, No. 14, Apt. # 4, Tehran-19478, Iran
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 14 August 2007
  •  Published: 30 November 2009


The broad intention of the present paper is to reflect a picture of children within families in Iran in so far as their value is concerned. We will find out how inspite of all the existing social and economic hardships and disorders, children try to maintain adequate synergy within their families and the society as a whole. Further, the paper is intended to provide a detailed overview of children lives in Iran in multiple dimensions. The paper mainly explores the attitudes and perceptions of the families towards the value of children! optimistically and positively as a source of happiness. The emerging modernity indicators and desire to improve quality of life is contributing to controversies towards having children. That is, the whole process needs appropriate policies to impede the possible consequences. Similarly, the increasing costs of raising children in modern time, is indeed affecting the traditional positive value of having children in the country. In assessing children as a source of happiness, their positive and negative values are searched out. The methodology used in this research is based on consulting relevant theories as well as conducting interviews. The paper explores and finds out that children experience difficult circumstances for a number of reasons, but in most cases the root problem is an underlying context of acute vulnerability. In many cases, it is the livelihood strategies that place children in difficult circumstances. These difficult circumstances are also often interrelated. Some of the factors like wars, economic stagnation, overpopulation and density of urban population affect children. However, the scenario of children as a source of both happiness and social problem is a new issue emerging not only in Iran, but in many other developing societies. The paper concludes that living in harmony within family depends on the quality and quantity of children in Iran as in any other developing country. It is argued that we need to consider the family as a controversial issue because of the differences between ideology of the family and the reality of the variety of various ways in which men, women, boys and girls, live together and interact. The paper aims to explore how families changed in the past half century, why people marry and/or have children and how synergy and solidarity in the family are achieved. The scope and scale of happiness in the family in terms of values (Croll, 2000) and whether the family is in a state of crisis are also investigated. Providing answers to such questions and many more, are some of the aims of the paper. The paper will reflect a synthesis of families in the ever-changing world with special reference to Tehran. Similarly, Iran’s current state of children and families need such investigation in terms of economic, social and cultural perspectives. Analysis of the dynamics of families in society is also a part of the aims of the paper.


Key words: Positive values, negative values, happiness, synergy, quality of life.