Title

Has the Marital Time Cost of Parenting Changed Over Time?

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Social Forces

Volume

88

Publication Date

2009

First Page

519

Last Page

541

Abstract

Qualitative and quantitative research has suggested that married couples handle the increasing demands of intensive parenting norms and work expectations by reducing spousal time (e.g., the time that spouses spend alone with each other). Using nationally representative time-diary data, this study examined whether married individuals with children at home lost more spousal time in the years 1975–2003 than individuals without children at home. The analyses showed that on average married individuals have reduced their spousal time by 50 minutes a day. Contrary to expectations, however, individuals with minor children at home had lower time declines than individuals without children. The strategies that assisted married individuals with children to protect their spousal time differed between weekdays and weekend days.

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