Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 634–653 | Cite as

A Review of the Literature on the Social and Economic Determinants of Parental Time

Original Paper


Parental time has been identified as a key determinant in the healthy development of a child. The literature on this topic has rapidly increased in recent years and has revealed large variations in the amount of time that parents devote to their children, including variations over time and across social and economic subgroups of the population. This paper synthesizes research devoted to parental time to provide a more succinct understanding of its significance and its variations. Beginning with the measurement issues associated with parental time research and the theoretical foundations, the paper goes on to document the social and economic determinants of parental time. It concludes with a discussion of the theoretical implications of the findings and suggestions for future research.


Child care Family policy Parenting Time use 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Canada Research Chair in Comparative Family Policy, Department of SociologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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