Adolescents’ Time Use in Context: Institutional, Demographic, and Socioeconomic Factors

Joan Garcia Roman, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics
Pablo Gracia, Trinity College Dublin

This study analyzes the role of institutional, demographic, and socioeconomic factors in influencing adolescents’ daily activities. Previous studies suggested that adolescents’ daily activities are closely connected to their well-being and accumulation of skills, which motivates the study on the inconclusive question of how micro-level and macro-level factors intersect in influencing adolescents’ time use in contemporary societies. We use data of 3,457 diaries reported by adolescents aged 11-17 in France (2009-10), Spain (2009-10), and the United Kingdom (2014-15). These three countries represent three contexts with important variations in their policy and cultural characteristics. Our analyses look at five activities that are seen as important markers of adolescents’ well-being and skills formation: (1) educational activities; (2) television time; (3) electronic activities; (4) sleeping; (5) sports. We pay particular attention to three key micro-level factors: (i) social background, (ii) family structure, and (ii) maternal employment. We believe that this study, currently in a preliminary stage, can offer interesting insights into how adolescents’ daily lives differ across societal and family contexts in ways that reflect variations in their potential well-being and formation of skills.

Presented in Session 48: Time Use in Families