Childcare involvement of Italian fathers between value change and time constraints

Maria-Letizia Tanturri, University of Pavia
Letizia Mencarini, University of Turin

Aim of the paper is to show the degree of father’s participation in mundane child-tending tasks and to evaluate the individual or couple’s characteristics favouring this involvement. Our analysis, is based on a sub-sample of fathers of pre-school-aged children, from the 2003 Multipurpose Italian survey on Family and Social Actors. Results confirmed that the childcare burden rests mainly on the woman’s shoulders, but fathers have increased their involvement since 1998. Only a small minority of them perform all the routine activities daily. However, father’s commitment increases substantially if the mother is employed and if she works more hours. Our findings reveal that role reconciliation can be facilitated when – other things being equal – fathers are either white-collar or teacher, or work a reduced number of hours. Fathers are more active, also when both partners within the couple are more educated, or together work less hours.

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Presented in Session 107: Men and children: childbearing and childrearing