BACKGROUND RESEARCH QUESTIONS Does the time parents spend with children differ according to parents’ occupation? Do occupational differences remain.
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BACKGROUND RESEARCH QUESTIONS Does the time parents spend with children differ according to parents’ occupation? Do occupational differences remain after taking parental education and income into account ? Does the role of occupation differ between mothers and fathers? Does the role of occupation differ across different measures of time? These include: primary time, “engaged” time devoted to education and play activities, secondary time, and total time. THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES DATA AND METHODSRESULTSDISCUSSION Independent variables Socio-Economic Status Parent’s occupation Parent’s education Annual family income Demographic Characteristics Parent’s race Control variables Demographic/Socioeconomic Parent’s age Parent’s marital status Number of own children in household under age 18 Presence of at least one own child under age six in household Parent’s usual number of weekly work hours Other Time diary took place on a weekday (rather than a weekend or holiday) Parents’ Time With Children: Evidence on the Role of Occupation from the American Time Use Survey, 2003 Margaret L. Usdansky Department of Sociology & Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University The question of how much time parents spend with children and how parental time relates to socio-economic status has received increased attention in recent years (Sayer et al. 2004a; Sayer et al. 2004b; Bianchi et al. 2004). This interest reflects concern about the impact of rising employment among mothers of young children and evidence of growing social-class disparities among children (McLanahan 2004). To date, research on the relationship between socio-economic status and parental time has focused on parents’ educational attainment and, less often, income. Little is known about the impact of parental occupation. Previous studies have often been limited to an examination of one type of time, and small sample sizes have usually precluded examining the role of race. Occupational Variation in Parental Time With Children High-end occupational advantage hypothesis Parents in high-end occupations, particularly professionals and managers, enjoy greater flexibility and autonomy than many other workers (Perry-Jenkins and Folk 1994). This increased flexibility and autonomy should translate into greater control over work schedules and thus greater ability to schedule work to avoid work-family time conflicts. Ultimately, this should lead to parents in high-end occupations spending more time with children than parents whose work must always be performed in particular places and at particular times. Occupational Similarity in Parental Time With Children Spurious relationship hypothesis Once parental income, education and race are taken into account, there is no relationship between parental occupation and time with children. Data 2003 American Time Use Survey (ATUS) Analysis includes employed parents with at least one own child under age 18 in the household (N=2681 Mothers; N=2477 Fathers). Mothers in construction (N=20) were excluded to avoid overly small cell sizes. Parents whose reported time with children exceeded the 95 th percentile were recoded to the 95 th percentile. Dependent Variables Primary time with children (parent reports activity with child was main activity; includes basic care as well as “engaged time”) “Engaged” time with children (educational and play activities) Secondary time with children (parent reports activity with child while engaged in another primary activity) Total time with children Analytic Strategy Separate analyses for mothers and fathers. Bivariate analysis Mothers’ and fathers’ time with children by parent’s occupation (weighted) Multivariate analysis Tobit regression models predicting time with children Table 1. Tobit Regression Models of Minutes Per Day Parents Spend With Children abc Mothers’ Time with ChildrenFathers’ Time with Children VariablesPrimary Time “Engaged” Time d Secondary Time Total TimePrimary Time “Engaged” Time d Secondary Time Total Time Occupation (omitted: Production for mothers, Service for fathers) Managerial Professional Service (Mothers) / Production (Fathers) Sales Office Construction/Maintenance 29.29** e (10.43) 15.97 (9.84) 15.71 (9.95) 10.47 (10.87) 14.3 (9.70) X 15.83 f (10.46) 0.81 (9.92) -0.17 (10.08) 4.47 (10.89) -1.20 (9.83) X 62.69* (30.71) 41.40 (28.90) 50.55 + (29.16) 11.83 (31.95) 35.32 (28.42) X 1.62 (22.22) -1.83 (20.86) -6.91 (21.10) -22.79 (23.12) 2.35 (20.52) X 22.17* (9.47) 24.38* (9.54) 8.23 (9.47) 15.02 (10.55) 19.44 (12.77) 4.00 (9.37) 21.25* (11.20) 23.82* (954) 4.49 (11.31) 3.10 (12.55) 3.37 (15.41) 7.55 (11.01) 57.17* (28.28) 54.71 + (28.64) 54.48 + (28.03) 33.12 (31.71) 32.21 (38.28) 13.65 (27.80) 43.64* (19.71) 52.19** (19.95) 50.76** (19.46) 46.87* (22.01) 23.73 (26.85) 27.23 (19.29) Family Income (omitted: Lowest Third) Middle Third Top Third 8.71 (5.97) 11.71 + (6.80) 9.89 + (6.04) 13.03 + (6.80) 12.40 (17.69) 6.39 (20.08) -7.95 (12.89) -6.68 (14.66) 18.77* (7.32) 30.67*** (7.77) 8.00 (8.75) 17.80 + (9.24) 39.71 + (21.67) 75.51** (23.07) 27.58 + (15.06) 30.20 + (16.05) Education (omitted: No degree) Bachelor’s Degree 30.73*** (5.24) 17.79** (5.14) 42.15** (15.67) 32.42** (11.40) 21.96*** (5.85) 21.11** (6.85) 11.94 (17.67) 11.03 (12.38) Race (omitted: White) Black/African American Hispanic Other -24.92*** (6.90) -30.97*** (7.13) -7.01 (9.03) -21.63** (7.08) -21.71** (7.31) 1.22 (8.70) -17.64 (20.31) 29.02 (20.74) 3.57 (27.02) -45.09** (14.89) -3.09 (15.24) 39.10* (19.62) -19.07 + (10.23) -16.35* (7.51) -23.36* (9.29) -28.52* (12.98) -8.04 (8.88) -1.26 (10.40) -27.17 (29.57) -29.18 (22.48) -63.33* (27.90) -45.56* (20.53) -1.96 (15.72) -8.40 (19.28) Constant45.04 (18.43) -31.51 (18.57) 602.59 (54.61) 513.41 (39.77) 20.87 (21.70) -32.73 (25.63) 520.67 (65.55) 388.93 (45.50) -2 log likelihood24960.8413368.8730367.9934796.6117719.839727.7325994.8030811.60 Censored observations699169561216511261797734270 Uncensored Observations198298620552516135168017272207 Total Observations2681 266726812477 24612477 Notes: a Standard errors in parenthesis; b +p<.10, * p<.05, ** p<.01, ***p<.001; c All models control for parent’s age, marital status, number of own children under age 18 in household, presence of any own children under age of 6 in household, usual weekly work hours, and time diary occurring on a weekday rather than a weekend or holiday. d “Engaged” time refers to education and play time with children. e Coefficients in blue indicate statistically significant differences compared with the omitted group. Coefficients in orange indicate statistically significant differences compared with managers among mothers and compared with managers and professionals among fathers. f Managers differ significantly from professional, service and office workers (p<.05). The Role of Occupation Occupation is related to the time parents spend with children, and this association remains even after taking other measures of socio-economic status (parents’ education and family income) and related factors (parents’ race and marital status) into account. Parents in high-end occupations are more likely to spend time and to spend higher amounts of time with their children. Among mothers, holding a managerial position is most consistently related to time with children. Among fathers, both managerial and professional jobs are associated with greater time with children. Among mothers, occupation is related to three of the four time categories measured: primary time; engaged time; and secondary time. Among fathers, occupation is related to all four categories of time, including total time. Education, Income and Race Parents who are college educated are more likely to spend time and to spend more time with children. This association is significant across all four types of time among mothers and for primary and engaged time among fathers. Having a high family income also appears to be associated with more time with children, but the relationship is statistically significant only for fathers and, among fathers, only with regard to primary and secondary time. On average, African-American mothers and fathers spend less time with children than white parents, and this relationship holds across most measures of time. Parents of Hispanic origin spend less time on primary care of children and, among mothers only, less time in engaged interaction with children. Remaining Questions for Future Research How do parents’ work schedules relate to time with children? Does working non- standard hours or days mediate the relationship between occupation and time with children? Workers’ level of autonomy and flexibility varies within as well as across occupation groups. Does occupational autonomy and flexibility mediate the relationship between occupation group and time with children?