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Journal Article

Determinants of Responsibility for Child Care Arrangements among Dual-Earner Couples

Richard R. Peterson and Kathleen Gerson
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 54, No. 3 (Aug., 1992), pp. 527-536
DOI: 10.2307/353239
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353239
Page Count: 10
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Determinants of Responsibility for Child Care Arrangements among Dual-Earner Couples
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Abstract

Human capital and social-structural explanations of men's and women's responsibility for child care arrangements are tested using data from young dual-earner couples. The analysis moves beyond the common focus on gender differences by seeking to explain variation among men and among women. We propose a social structural explanation that focuses on the importance of situational constraints in determining involvement in household labor. When the demands of household labor are extreme, men are more likely to increase their responsibility. Hours worked by the wife increase responsibility of husbands and decrease responsibility of wives. Both male and female employees who have greater structural opportunity at work have less responsibility for child care arrangements than those whose opportunities are limited.

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