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Married Parents’ Time Use at Home, at Play, and with Children: Variations by Labor Force Status

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Married Parents’ Time Use at Home, at Play, and with Children: Variations by Labor Force Status Ariel Kalil, Ph.D. and Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, Ph.D. Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago. Study Aims. Methods. Time in Female-Typed Tasks. Time with Children.

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Married Parents’ Time Use at Home, at Play, and with Children:

Variations by Labor Force Status

Ariel Kalil, Ph.D. and Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, Ph.D.

Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago

Study Aims

Methods

Time in Female-Typed Tasks

Time with Children

Examine the associations between labor force status and time in household activities, leisure, and care of household children for married mothers and married fathers.

  • Dependent Variables
  • Time spent: Minutes per day
    • Sleep
    • Female-Typed Tasks: Cooking & cleaning
    • Male-Typed Tasks: Repair & maintenance
    • Leisure: Socializing, relaxing, sports, & recreation
    • Children: Care, play, education, & health
  • Independent Variables
  • Respondent characteristics including own labor force status, age, race, and education
  • Spouse employment status
  • Household characteristics including income, number of minor children, and age of youngest child
  • Time study characteristics including weekend, holiday, and survey year indicators
  • Statistical Model
  • Tobit Regression (Accounts for censoring at zero)
  • Descriptive Statistics: Spouse Employment
  • 65% of fathers who work are married to women who work
  • 90% of mothers who work are married to men who work

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Background

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Note: * indicates different from mother full time at p < .05

Note: * indicates different from mother full time at p < .05

  • Why do women and men spend differing amounts of time on household activities or caring for children?
  • Hypotheses
  • Gender-role ideology: Men and women are socialized to perform sex-typed tasks
  • Time availability: Spouse with the most available time will perform greatest number of tasks
  • Bargaining: Greater the individual’s economic resources, more leverage in opting out of tasks
  • Specialization: The spouse with lower earnings will specialize in home production to promote household efficiency

Additional Comparisons

Time in Male-Typed Tasks

  • Sleep: Employed fathers spend less time sleeping than all mothers. Unemployed fathers spend marginally more time sleeping than mothers who work full-time.
    • Average number of father (mother) minutes is 486 (501)
  • Female-Typed Tasks: Fathers spend less time than mothers in female-typed tasks regardless of labor force status.
    • Average number of father (mother) minutes is 31 (138)
  • Male-Typed Tasks: Fathers spend more time than mothers in male-typed tasks, regardless of labor force status.
    • Average number of father (mother) minutes is 39 (15)
  • Leisure: Fathers spend more time than mothers in leisure, regardless of labor force status.
    • Average number of father (mother) minutes is 235 (211)
  • Children: Fathers spend less time than mothers with children (except full-time employed mothers), regardless of labor force status.
    • Average number of father (mother) minutes is 50 (105)

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Data and Sample

Note: * indicates different from mother full time at p < .05

American Time Use Survey 2003 and 2004

Married respondents who are not retired or disabled with children in the household

10,194 parents (60% from 2003 Survey)

Includes 4,805 Fathers and 5,389 Mothers

Time in Sleep

Time in Leisure

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Father Employment Status

92% Employed

3% Unemployed

4% OLF

Mother Employment Status

43% Full time

24% Part time

4% Unemployed

30% OLF

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Note: * indicates different from mother full time at p < .05

Note: * indicates different from mother full time at p < .05

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