Childhood longitudinal study

I’m watching a documentary about 1 year olds on the ABC, which was inspired by this study of Australian children. It’s the first part of a study that’s going to be happening every two years.

It’s funny, every time I see a study like this, I’m itching to get my hands on the underlying data. There is quite a lot of analysis of parental working, and the time that children spend doing different things, and with which parent.

But there is no data about the number of stay at home dads (something I always want to know about).

What you can glean from the study though: The person who knew the child best was designated Parent 1. In 97% of cases, that was the mother – presumably the other 3% were fathers. The mother was significantly more likely to be working when her child was 4-5, than 0-1, whereas for the father it made no difference.

And in a time use study, children on average spend one hour a day awake with their father and not their mother (whether they were 0-1 or 4-5) and five hours (4-5 year olds) or seven hours (0-1 year olds) with their mother and not their father.

  3 comments for “Childhood longitudinal study

  1. October 13, 2006 at 5:25 am

    One hour! It’s not a lot but I have too many days when that’s all I manage. It’s feels amazing that our dudelet even recongnises me on bad weeks.
    Wonder what the difference is when the mother is the primary breadwinner?

  2. October 14, 2006 at 7:28 am

    I’m not sure if I was clear – there was another five hours a day that children spent with the mother and the father – so fathers all up spend about six hours with their children (one of them without the mother).

    For me, a primary breadwinner mother, I think I probably do about the average, both in total (six hours) and time by myself (an hour a day). Which depresses me, because I thought I was doing better than the average breadwinning male. I certainly am compared with the people I work with, but that just says I’m working more hours than the average person.

  3. October 15, 2006 at 11:06 am

    The breadwinner spends 6 hours with her/his kids? How? My husband sees the kids for max 1/2 hour in the morning (sees them, not really interacts with them), then 2-3 hours in the evening before they go to bed. Of course he sees them 12+ hours on the weekend. So, is it an average for the week?

    Jen Penguin, where do _you_ get those six hours?

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