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The Time Squeeze: Parental Statuses and Feelings About Time With Children


  • Department of Sociology, University of Maryland, 2112 Art-Sociology, College Park, MD 20742 (

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    Department of Sociology, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115.


Policy makers, parents, and the public are concerned with perceived declines in parents’ time with children. Data from two national surveys (N = 1,159 and N = 821) used in this study show that nearly half of parents report feeling too little time with children. Work hours are strongly related to these feelings, even controlling for time spent with children, and explain why fathers more than mothers feel time strain. For fathers, those whose youngest child is an adolescent feel more strain than similarly situated mothers. Controlling for work hours, single parents are not more likely than married parents to feel that they spend insufficient time with children.