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An Examination of Parent-Child Shared Time

W. Keith Bryant and Cathleen D. Zick
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 58, No. 1 (Feb., 1996), pp. 227-237
DOI: 10.2307/353391
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353391
Page Count: 11
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An Examination of Parent-Child Shared Time
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Abstract

Data from time diaries kept by parents in two-parent, two-child families in four states in 1977 and 1978 were used to examine time shared by parents and children, as well as parent solitary times, in a number of household activities. The analysis focuses on how the mother's employment time affects shared parent-child time and whether the time was sex-typed. In addition, a weak test for whether parent-child shared time stimulates children's human capital development was devised and the hypothesis confirmed. Mothers who spent more time in market work shared less traditionally defined child-care time, but only with the older child. In contrast, as a mother's time in market work increased, parent-child shared housework and shared leisure time increased. Household activities shared by the parent and the child were sex-typed. Mothers tended to share more time with daughters in meal preparation and family-care activities, and fathers tended to share more time with their sons in activities involving the home, yard, car, and pet maintenance and in shopping activities.

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