Children's Time With Fathers in Intact Families

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Abstract

This paper uses the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine children's involvement with their fathers in intact families as measured through time spent together. Our findings suggest that although mothers still shoulder the lion's share of the parenting, fathers' involvement relative to that of mothers appears to be on the increase. A “new father” role is emerging on weekends in intact families. Different determinants of fathers' involvement were found on weekdays and on weekends. Fathers' wages and work hours have a negative relationship with the time they spend with a child on weekdays, but not on weekends. Mothers' work hours have no effect on children's time with fathers. On weekends, Black fathers were found to be less involved and Latino fathers more involved with their children than are White fathers. The weekday-weekend differential suggests that a simple gender inequality theory is not sufficient in explaining the dynamics of household division of labor in today's American families.

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