- Fathers' child care involvement and children's age in Spain: a time use study on differences by education and mothers' employment
- European Sociological Review
- Volume | Issue number
- 30 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Using time-diary data from the ‘2003 Spanish Time Use Survey’ (N = 2,941), I analysed two critical questions related to child development and gender equity. First, how do fathers of different levels of education adjust their parenting activities to their children’s developmental needs? Second, how does the mother’s employment affect paternal engagement associated with distinct time demands and gendered practices? The main contribution of the study is the empirical focus on three different subsamples of married fathers with children in distinct age categories, a proxy of children’s developmental needs, and households’ child care demands. There were three main empirical results of the study: (i) In couples with children aged 0-5 years, the father’s education had a significant positive effect on his physical care (i.e. feeding, bathing, and watching over), when these activities are determinant for children’s future well-being; (ii) In couples where the youngest child was aged 3-5 years, a developmental stage in which cognitive development critically depends on parents’ intellectual stimulation, education was significantly correlated with father’s interactive care, especially in teaching activities; (iii) Mother’s employment had a strong positive effect on fathers’ physical care in families with children under school age, when these activities are central for gender equality in the home.
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