Is Daddy Coming to Dinner? Working Schedules and Father’s Time with Children

Annalisa Donno, University of Padova

The process of gender roles redefinition in parenting management is spreading all over Europe. Fathers are no more expected to be financial providers only, but they are supposed to be engaged in childrearing activities too.

The aim of this work is to analyze daily fathers parenting activities by underlining the importance of chronology in time use analyses. The daily time allocation among different activities, driven by personal wants and attitudes, is also shaped by culturally constructed societal rhythms allowing to identify similarities in people’s daily schedules.

Our hypothesis is that performing parenting activities in ‘uncommon moments’ of the day might represent a social cost for fathers, bringing them to homologate their behaviors, by following a crowd-effect, preventing them from social stigma and economic consequences.

By using Italian Time Use survey data, we warp time, by identifying a ‘social duration’ of fathering, through the identification of a weighting scheme, taking into account each father’s childrearing timing, in the light of the ‘global’ parenting attitudes of all the other analyzed fathers. We use OLS regression models for understanding which individual-level characteristics influence the social duration of father’s parenting activities.

We expect fathers time allocation scheme to be mainly shaped by macro-context elements such as the working time regulations of the local labor market. We moreover test the hypothesis that, beyond working-related aspects, also cultural one act, bringing fathers to perform parenting activities by following homogeneous time-allocation schemes.

Presented in Session 48: Time Use in Families