Fathers, work and families in the 21st century

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Slides showing the results of research into the role of fathers at home and at work in the 21st century. We've examined biological and social fatherhood and all types of fathers, including those who live on their own and lone fathers. We find out if the classic British earner household of a father working full-time and a mother working part-time is still relevant and examine changes to fathers' working hours. Finally, we look at how involved parents are in the lives of their children, and whether things are different for fathers and mothers. This research was carried out by NatCen Social Research and the University of East Anglia. It was funded by the ESRC. Although principally focused on fathers in the UK, we also examine how the realities of fatherhood vary across Europe.

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Fathers, work and families in the 21st century

  1. 1. Fathers, work and families in twenty-first century Britain: beyondthe breadwinner model?The findings in this presentation are preliminary – please do notreference without authors’ permissionMargaret O’Brien & Svetlana SpeightMatt Aldrich, Sara Connolly, Eloise Poole23 April 2013, UCL
  2. 2. Outline• Policy & research context• Aims of project and data sources• Profiling of UK fathers’ working patterns Time trends inemployment status and hours 2001-2011; continuity andchange across different family types• Profiling UK Fathers: fatherhood status and definitions.Dealing with Complexity: bio, social, non-resident
  3. 3. Policy & Research Context“ In a rapidly changing world, we willcontinue witnessing the growingmomentum and recognition of theimportance of men for gender equality,reconciling work-family life andimpacting the future of their children”Men in Families and Family Policy in aChanging World Report 2011 New York:United Nations Department ofEconomic and Social Affairshttp://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/docs/men-in-families.pdf
  4. 4. Research: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s
  5. 5. Fathers: partners, carers, involved,nurturers
  6. 6. Anxieties about absent fathers
  7. 7. Inter-disciplinary conceptual framework forunderstanding change and continuity inmen’s family and work roles• Awareness that the family unit is undergoing a transition froma traditional unitary model based on a male dominanteconomic actor towards a different logic with less specializationof roles by gender (Becker, 1981; Browning et al, 2011).• New norms redefining family life are emerging – “a gender-equality equilibrium” – but are unstable (Esping-Anderson,2009).• A multidimensional approach to men’s parenting activities or“father involvement” with direct and indirect influences ofpaternal capital on child and family wellbeing (Pleck, 2010)• Awareness that public policy measures, such as parental leaveand flexible working schedules, have a profound effect on howmuch time children get to spend with their parents (Gornick &Meyers, 2009; Lewis, 2009).
  8. 8. Aims of the study1. To provide a comprehensive profiling of fathers in21st century Britain in terms of their paid work andfamily life.2. To explore factors associated with differences infathers’ paid work and family life.3. To analyse time trends in fathers’ working patterns toexplore effects of policy changes.4. To explore the role of institutional factors, bycomparing the UK with other European countries.
  9. 9. Data1. Understanding society, wave 1 (2009-10) andwave 2 (2010-11).2. EU Labour Force Survey (late 1990s-current)3. European Social Survey, round 2 (2004-05) andround 5 (2010-11)4. British Household Panel Survey, all 18 waves(1991-2009)
  10. 10. Fathers’ working patterns
  11. 11. EU- LFS 2001-2011• Adult couple households with dependent children(2011 20,569 couple households of which 6,092have at least one child under the age of 15 livingin the household)• Age restriction on the household referenceperson – 16-64 years• Employment status FT = 30 hours or more perweek PT = <30 hours per week• Definitions of working hours "usual" weekly hours
  12. 12. Working patterns of couple households withdependent children 2001-2011 (HRP 16-64)0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40OtherNeitherworkingMale sole PTearnerFemale sole PTearnerDual PTFemale sole FTearnerMale sole FTearnerFFT and MPTMFT and FPTMFT and FFTOther0.5worker1FTEworker1.5FTEworkers2FTEworkers% of households2011 2001
  13. 13. 4344454647482001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011AverageusualhoursinmainjobWorking hours of men in households with children(age 16-64)MFT and FFT MFT and FPT Male sole FT earner All FT All
  14. 14. 15161718192021222001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011AverageusualhoursinmainjobWorking hours of men in households with children PT(age 16-64)
  15. 15. 15161718192021222001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011Averageusualhoursinmainjob Working hours of men in households with children by family type PT (age 16-64)FFT and MPT Dual PT Male sole PT earner All PT
  16. 16. 38394041422001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011AverageusualhoursinmainjobWorking hours of women in households with children FT(age 16-64)
  17. 17. 38394041422001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011AverageusualhoursinmainjobWorking hours of women in households with children FT by family type(age 16-64)MFT and FFT FFT and MPT Female sole FT earner All FT
  18. 18. 024681012141618202001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011%working60ormorehoursperweekIncidence of long working hours 60+ of parents (age 16-64)Father dual earner hh Father 1.5 earner hh Male sole earner hh All full-time fathersMother dual earner hh Mother 1.5 earner hh Female sole earner hh All full-time mothers
  19. 19. Fatherhood: concepts
  20. 20. Fatherhood• Fathers v ‘non-fathers’– Typology• Biological v social father• Resident v non-resident father
  21. 21. Fatherhood status1. Fathers co-resident with dependentchildren: in couples2. Fathers co-resident with dependentchildren: single parents3. Fathers not living with any dependentchildren4. Non-fathers
  22. 22. Fatherhood status, 2009/100 10 20 30 40Non-fatherFather, no dependent childrenFather, dependent children, loneFather, dependent children,coupleBase: men aged 16+ (n=20,741, Understanding Society survey)2513836
  23. 23. Age profile411022731122126424312324031858720 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100Non-fatherFather, no dependentchildrenFather, dependentchildren, loneFather, dependentchildren, couple16-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60+
  24. 24. Non-fathers, by age0 20 40 60 80 10060+45 to 5935 to 4425 to 3416 to 24
  25. 25. Economic status0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90Economically inactiveUnemployedWorking part-timeWorking full-timeEconomically inactiveUnemployedWorking part-timeWorking full-timeEconomically inactiveUnemployedWorking part-timeWorking full-timeEconomically inactiveUnemployedWorking part-timeWorking full-timeNon-fatherFather,nodependentchildrenFather,dependentchildren,loneFather,dependentchildren,couple% within each category of fatherhood(men aged 16-64)
  26. 26. Biological v social father
  27. 27. Fathers co-resident with dependent children0 20 40 60 80 100StepFosterAdoptedBiological 9410.411Base: fathers co-resident with dependent children (n=5,556)
  28. 28. Bio v non-bio968727260 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100Lone fathersCouple fathersBio only Bio and non-bio Non-bio only
  29. 29. Resident v non-resident father
  30. 30. Whether has a non-resident child <160 2 4 6 8 10 12 14Non-fatherFather, no dependent childrenFather, dependent children, loneFather, dependent children,coupleAll men 16+Base: all men aged 16+ (n=20,663)
  31. 31. Non-resident fathersMore likely to be:• <45 years old (compared with 45+)• Living without a partner (OR: 28!)• Less well educated• Not in paid work• NS-SEC group - routine occupations• In rented accommodation
  32. 32. Whether non-resident fathers are co-resident withany dependent childrenBase: fathers who have non-resident children under 16 (n=1,053)27%2%24%46%Has residentchildren and isin a coupleHas residentchildren - lonefatherNo residentchildren and issingleNo residentchildren and isin a couple
  33. 33. Contact with non-resident children10 11511222514221417 19 178310NocontactFew timesa yearA fewtimes ayearSeveraltimes amonthOnce aweekSeveraltimes aweekAlmostevery day50/50Non-resident child/ren only Resident and non-resident childrenBase: fathers who have non-resident children under 16 (n=1,050)
  34. 34. Thank youProf. Margaret O’Brien (UEA) – M.O-brien@uea.ac.ukDr Svetlana Speight (NatCen Social Research) –Svetlana.Speight@natcen.ac.ukDr Sara Connolly (UEA) – Sara.Connolly@uea.ac.ukDr Matt Aldrich (UEA) – Matthew.Aldrich@uea.ac.ukEloise Poole (NatCen) – Eloise.Poole@natcen.ac.uk

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