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Fathers’ involvement with their children in the United Kingdom: recent trends and class differences

Henz, Ursula (2019) Fathers’ involvement with their children in the United Kingdom: recent trends and class differences. Demographic Research, 40. pp. 865-896. ISSN 1435-9871

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Identification Number: 10.4054/DemRes.2019.40.30


BACKGROUND Many studies of Western societies have documented an increasing involvement of fathers with their children since the 1970s. The trend reflects changes in the meaning of fatherhood and contributes to child well-being and gender equality. New policies in the United Kingdom might have further encouraged father involvement in the new millennium. Differences in father involvement between socioeconomic groups have caused concern since they contribute to inequality in resources available to children. OBJECTIVES This paper examines the recent trends and social differences in father involvement with children in the United Kingdom. METHODS Data from the UK Time Use Surveys 2000-2001 and 2014-2015 are analysed using regression models. RESULTS Fathers' overall involvement in childcare in the new millennium has been stable but differences emerge when looking at specific childcare activities, in particular on weekend days. In 2014 fathers were less likely to provide interactive care and active fathers provided on average fewer minutes of physical care than in 2000. Fathers from higher SES groups offset some of these trends by increased participation rates in physical care in 2014 compared to 2000. CONCLUSIONS The stability of fathers' involvement signifies a stalling of the transformation of the father role and progress towards gender equality in the home in large parts of the population. Father involvement on weekend days continues to diverge between high and low status groups. CONTRIBUTION This is the first comprehensive analysis of trends in father involvement in the new millennium using time-use data. It is the first analysis that finds no further increase of father involvement in the United Kingdom.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2019 09:36
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 22:57

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