Parental involvement and work schedules: time with children in the United States, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom

Jennifer L. Hook, University of Washington
Christina M. Wolfe, Pennsylvania State University

We examine variation in parents' time with children by work schedule in two-parent families, utilizing time use surveys from the United States (2003), Germany (2001), Norway (2000), and the United Kingdom (2000) (N = 6,835). We explore how the association between evening work and time with children may vary by employment status for mothers and by partners’ employment status for fathers. We find that American fathers working the evening shift spend more time alone with children regardless of mothers’ employment status, whereas the association is conditional on mothers’ employment in the United Kingdom and Germany. We find no evidence that Norwegian fathers working the evening shift spend more time alone with children, but Norwegian mothers spend considerably more time, as do British mothers. For German mothers evening shifts attenuate the negative association between full-time work and time spent with children. We find that a major consequence of evening work often viewed as positive for children, fathers spending more time with children, is sensitive to both household employment arrangements and country context.

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Presented in Session 87: Gender division of care and domestic work