Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education

Department name when degree awarded

Home Economics and Consumer Education

Committee Chair(s)

Jane McCullough


Jane McCullough


Janice Pearce


Alison Thorne


The purpose of this study was to investigate children's contributions to household work and to determine what factors affected the amount of time children spent in household work activities. Data for the study came from the Utah portion of the "Interstate Comparison of Urban/Rural Families' Time Use" which involved 210 two-parent/two-child families in Utah. Data were collected through interviews with the homemakers in each family using time diaries and an information questionnaire.Time use was recorded for two 24 hour days for all family members over the age of five . For the present study an analysis was made of the time contributions to household work by 200 children (87 girls/113 boys) from 114 families. Ninety-six of the children were from rural families and 104 were from urban families.

Factors considered included sex; place of residence; children's time in school, paid employment, and organizational activities; children's time in social and recreational activities; hours of parental employment; and parents' time in household work. Statistical analysis was done using either a partial correlation coefficient to control for age or a "t" test of the differences between means.

Findings revealed that the amount of time children contribute to household work activities varies widely. Some children contribute little or no time to household work while others put in several hours per day. Rural children were found to contribute more time to household work than urban children. Girls did not contribute a significantly greater amount of time to household work than boys, but boys and girls did contribute time to different types of household work activities. Girls were more likely to spend time performing traditionally feminine household tasks and boys were more likely to spend time performing traditionally masculine household tasks. Hours of parental employment and parents' time in household work did not make much impact on children's contributions to work in the home, but it does seem clear that children's time in household work does not substitute for that of adult family members.