The Effect of Homemakers' Employment on Meal Preparation Time, Meals at Home, and Meals Away from Home


  • A preliminary version of this work was Ortix's master's thesis. This research was supported by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hatch Grant #2365.


Using a sample of Wisconsin families the authors conducted multiple regression analyses of the effects of homemakers' employment on the amount of time spent in food preparation, the number of persons served meals at home, and the percentage of meals eaten away from home. Preliminary analysis revealed a homemaker was more likely to be employed if her husband's earnings were low, if she had older children, and if she had higher education. The regressions on each of the three dependent variables used hours of homemaker's employment, her educa tional attainment, family income, age of the youngest child, and rural-urban residence as in dependent variables. Significant at the 0.05 level or better, the regression coefficients revealed that employed homemakers spent less time in food preparation and that their families ate more meals away from home. There was no statistically significant effect of homemakers' employment on the average number of persons served meals at home. Other findings signifi cant at least at the 0. 05 level suggest that homemakers' education, family income, and the age of the youngest child influence the three dependent variables more than does rural-urban residence.