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Juggling Jobs and Kids: The Impact of Employment Schedules on Fathers' Caring for Children

April Brayfield
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 57, No. 2 (May, 1995), pp. 321-332
DOI: 10.2307/353686
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353686
Page Count: 12
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Juggling Jobs and Kids: The Impact of Employment Schedules on Fathers' Caring for Children
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Abstract

This article examines how the temporal structure of employment schedules influences paternal responsibility for child care. Data on 1,452 families from the National Child Care Survey 1990 show mixed support for the demand/response capacity hypothesis, which states that paternal participation in child care is a function of demands placed on fathers as well as their capacity to respond to these demands. The present study finds that multiple dimensions of the mother's employment schedule exert pressures on the likelihood of a father taking care of his youngest child when the mother is not available. Yet only one aspect of the father's employment schedule—time of day—affects his capacity to respond to child care demands. Although the nature of the relationship between employment schedules and fathers' child care generally depends on the age of the child, fathers are consistently most likely to take care of their youngest child when they work different hours than their wives.

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