A new study has found that Australian parents are underestimating their self-worth which is leading them to making poorer life choices.

The study found that because of underestimating their contribution they provide to family and loved ones, over half (54%) of parents struggle to understand the value they provide to their family and friends more than the average Australian (47%), which is leading to negative repercussions like feeling guilty for not spending enough time with family and friends (23%), not providing enough financial stability to loved ones (26%), feeling guilty for missing important events like birthdays (14%), and regretful for spending time at work (14%).

The research, from Australian life insurance specialist, TAL, revealed Australians do not always recognise the value of the contributions they make to others and the impact this has on their life choices.

The study also found that parents underestimate their value more than the average Australian and the difficulty to understand self-worth has had a negative impact on the way they feel about their life choices and decisions they have made

According to the research, Australians struggle to understand their own worth is down to them tending to base their value on how much they earn or own, with 64% naming their possessions as their most valuable asset and neglecting to recognise the value of their emotional support and contributions to loved ones.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Ilan Dar-Nimrod, from the school of psychology at the University of Sydney, said: “As people, we have a natural tendency to recognise the value of material things, but it’s not so straightforward when it comes to ourselves. This can impact how we view our own self-worth, leading us to measure it based on elements that are easy to monetise, such as how much we work, earn and what possessions we own, while missing the point that our value is so much greater. Although it contains all of these elements, it goes above and beyond material assets. The value we provide to others through emotional support and mateship is endlessly valuable, but it’s the first thing we seem to forget.

The research also identified four different profile types that Australians tend to fall into depending on how they view their own value. The majority of the country (60%) are more focused on family and spending quality time with others while 40% are more career driven and focused on providing financially for others.

People can find out what profile type they are by using TAL’s personal value test to better understand which areas of their life they may be undervaluing.

To explore the concept of how Australians value themselves further, TAL also asked Australian parents and their children what their most asset is and found that Australian parents rarely recognised the value they provide to their loved ones. Watch the full video below:

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  • I blame social media for some of it. Everyone posting their picture perfect life and others feeling poor in comparison.


  • I think most people, not just parents, under value themselves. It’s hard to ourselves through the eyes of others and even harder to see who/what we are when we are neck deep in day to day life


  • Very true. We are hard on ourselves.


  • We don’t base our value on how much we earn or own, we simple love on our children and give them our best in coaching them in the development of the process into respectful & independent as possible human beings


  • I can relate to this article. I feel like my contribution to my family isn’t like what my husband brings to our family. I saying this my husband reminds me all the time that what I do at home with the kids and the house he could never do as good as job.so it’s nice to have that comfort and support


  • It is hard to put a monetary value on everything and managing finances is a life skill I’ve learnt along the way.


  • Some people don’t understand the concept of … if you haven’t got the money to pay for it… then you can’t have it until you save for it.


  • This article is so true on so many levels.


  • Re, financial pressure you have to learn to live within your means. I know plenty who are crying poverty but the continuously go out to dinner or have takeaway. It is great to spend quality time with your family, relatives and friends. If you can’t afford the fuel you just can’t go as often. A phone call isn’t the same but it may have to your option. Apart from the cause being illness I don’t remember missing an arranged birthday meal with family at somebody’s home. We have never used a Credit Card. I do have a Debit Card that the money comes straight out of my bank account as I don’t like carrying too much cash around with me. You still have to have a budget and not spend on unnecessary items


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