, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 71–88

The effect of homemaker's employment status on children's time allocation in single- and two-parent families

  • Rosemary J. Key
  • Margaret Mietus Sanik


This study compares the effect of homemaker's employment status on children's time allocation in single- and two-parent families. Specifically under investigation is the effect of living in a family in which the mother is employed professionally, employed non-professionally, or not employed outside the home on older child's time allocated to household work, school work, and recreation in single- and two-parent families. Age and sex of older children and constraints on their time, such as school attendance, are controlled for in the analysis. The data are from a California study. A two-step multiple regression procedure is used. The effect of homemaker's employment status on older child's time allocated to household work, school work, and recreation is not found to differ by family structure. Homemaker's employment status does not explain a significant amount of variance in older child's time allocation.

Key words

Children Homemaker's Employment Single-Parent Families Two-Parent Families 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bird, G. W., Bird, G. A., & Scruggs, M. (1984). Determinants of family task sharing: A study of husbands and wives.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 46 345–355.Google Scholar
  2. Buehler, C., & Hogan, M. J. (1980). Managerial behavior and stress in families headed by divorced women: A proposed framework.Family Relations, 29 525–532.Google Scholar
  3. Cherlin, A. (1981).Marriage, divorce, remarriage. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Cogle, F., Tasker, G., & Morton, D. (1982). Adolescent time use in household work.Adolescence, 17 451–455.Google Scholar
  5. Coser, R., & Rokoff, G. (1974). Women in the occupational world: Social disruption and conflict. In R. L. Coser (Ed.),The family, its structures and functions (pp. 490–511). New York: St. Martin's Press.Google Scholar
  6. Duncan, D., & Sanik, M. (1989). Time use of North American adolescents. InProceedings of the 18th Annual Conference of the Southeastern Regional Association, Family Economics-Home Management (pp. 85–94).Google Scholar
  7. Family time use: An eleven-state urban/rural comparison (Bulletin VPI-2) (1981). Blacksburg: Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station.Google Scholar
  8. Fox, K., & Nickols, S. (1983). The time crunch: Wife's employment and family work.Journal of Family Issues, 4 61–82.Google Scholar
  9. Grief, G. (1985). Children and housework in the single father family.Family Relations, 34 353–357.Google Scholar
  10. Hafstrom, J., & Schram, V. (1983). Housework time of wives: Pressure, facilitators, constraints.Home Economics Research Journal, 11 245–255.Google Scholar
  11. Hardesty, A. (1979).A comparison of male and female adolescents' time spent in household activities and family interaction. Unpublished master's thesis, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.Google Scholar
  12. Hedges, J., & Barnett, J. (1972). Working women and the division of household tasks.Monthly Labor Review, 95(4), 9–14.Google Scholar
  13. Hiller, D., & Dyehouse, J. (1987). A case for banishing “dual-career marriages” from the research literature.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 49 787–795.Google Scholar
  14. Kanter, R. (1977).Men and women of the corporation. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  15. Key, R. (1988).The structure of family goals as revealed in relationships of complementarity and substitutability in time allocation decisions. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University, Columbus.Google Scholar
  16. Key, R., & Sanik, M. (1985). Children's contribution to household work in one- and two-parent families. InSocial and economic resources: Managing in a complex society. Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference for the Southeastern Regional Association, Family Economics-Home Management (pp. 162–165).Google Scholar
  17. Koutsoyiannis, A. (1977).Theory of econometrics (2nd ed.). Totawa, NJ: Barnes and Noble.Google Scholar
  18. Lauer, R., & Handle, W. (1977).Social psychology, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  19. Levitan, S., Belous, R., & Gallo, G. (1988).What's happening to the American family? Tensions, hopes, realities. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Maddala, G. (1977).Econometrics. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  21. Maret, E., & Finlay, B. (1984). The distribution of household labor among women in dual-earner families.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 46 357–364.Google Scholar
  22. Masnick, G., & Bane, M. (1980).The nation's families, 1960–1990. Cambridge, MA: Joint Center for Urban Studies of MIT and Harvard University.Google Scholar
  23. Peters, J., & Haldeman, V. (1987). Time used for household work: A study of school-age children from single-parent, two-parent, one-earner, and two-earner families.Journal of Family Issues, 8 212–225.Google Scholar
  24. Propper, A. (1972). The relationship of material employment to adolescent roles, activities, and parental relationships.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 34 417–421.Google Scholar
  25. Ridley, C. (1973). Exploring the impact of work satisfaction and involvement on marital interaction when both partners are employed.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 35 229–237.Google Scholar
  26. Roy, P. (1961). Material employment and adolescent roles: Urban-rural differences.Marriage and Family Living, 23 340–349.Google Scholar
  27. Sanik, M., & O'Neill, B. (1982). Who does the family work?Journal of Extension, 20(5), 15–20.Google Scholar
  28. Sanik, M., & Stafford, K. (1985). Adolescents' contribution to household production: Male and female differences.Adolescence, 20 207–215.Google Scholar
  29. Sanik, M., & Stafford, K. (1986). Boy/girl differences in household work.Journal of Consumer Studies and Home Economics, 10 209–219.Google Scholar
  30. Timmer, S., Eccles, J., & O'Brien, K. (1985). How children use time. In F. T. Juster & F. P. Stafford (Eds.),Time, goods, and well-being (pp. 353–382). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research, Survey Research Center.Google Scholar
  31. U.S. Bureau of the Census (1980).1980 census of the population: Alphabetical index of industries and occupations. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  32. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (1987).Statistical abstract of the United States: 1988 (108th edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  33. Weingarten, K. (1978a). Interdependence. In R. N. Rapoport & R. Rapoport (Eds.),Working couples (pp. 147–158). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  34. Weingarten, K. (1978b). The employment pattern of professional couples and their distribution of involvement in the family.Psychology of Women Quarterly, 3 43–52.Google Scholar
  35. Weiss, R. (1979). Growing up a little faster: The experience of growing up in a single-parent household.Journal of Social Issues, 35 97–111.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosemary J. Key
    • 1
  • Margaret Mietus Sanik
    • 2
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityUSA
  2. 2.The Ohio State UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations