Data came from the American Heritage Time Use Study (AHTUS), (Fisher et al. 2006) and covering the years 1965 (N = 2,021), 1975 (N = 2,846) and 2003 (N = 20,720). In all years activities over 24 hours were assessed, as well as who else was present during the activity. The years 1985 and 1992–94 could not be included, because presence of a spouse was not available in these datasets. The sample containing only individuals who were part of a couple included 15,249 diaries.
Free-time activities included: (1) attending sports events, (2) going to the cinema, theatre, concert, opera, museums and exhibitions, (3) going to a restaurant, café, bar, party or reception, (4) receiving or visiting friends and other in-home social activities, (5) arts, crafts and hobbies, (6) watching television, and (7) listening to radio or music. The number of minutes spent in these activities was summed, as were the minutes spent in these activities in the presence of a partner. Besides the partner others, such as children, could be present as well. The relative share of leisure in the presence of a partner could then be calculated with a mean of 67 percent.
Year of the survey was included (1965, 2003, reference group is 1975), and gender (1 = female), as well as the number of children younger than 5 years and the number of children between 5 and 17, working arrangement (dual earner household, unemployed couple, with the reference group being single earner households).
These included the age of the respondent (mean = 45 years), as well as age squared (divided by 100), level of education measured in six categories (from 1 = primary education to 6 = post-college), total hours of free time (mean = 3.8 h per day, and a dummy variable for the day (1 = weekday, 0 = weekend day).
Three regression models were estimated separately for men and women, using the proportion of shared leisure as the dependent variable. In the first model all variables were included. Models 2 and 3 show results for different interactions of the independent variables with the year 2003 to assess whether some characteristics have a different impact on shared leisure time in later years. Differences between coefficients for men and women were tested using seemingly unrelated estimation.