Domestic Work Among Children, Teenagers, and Young Adults

  • Giulia Maria Dotti Sani
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)


This chapter focuses on time in the domestic setting among sons and daughters of different ages. The chapter shows that as early as elementary school little girls engage more in domestic work than little boys and spend more time doing chores as well. Such gap continues to increase in adolescence and, by age 20, girls do over two times more housework than boys. The discrepancy is especially evident for typically female activities such as cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry, whereas boys are more involved when it comes to odd jobs. The chapter also shows that, of all the individual and household characteristics that can affect children’s domestic work, having a father who engaged in domestic chores is a strong predictor of children’s participation. This result is especially evident for boys, suggesting the existence of a gender specific pattern of imitation between fathers and sons. In other words, fathers who are involved in the care of their home and children act as positive role models for their sons. Alternatively, gender ideology might act at the household level as mothers may push both husbands and sons into doing more housework.


Domestic work Housework Children Teenagers Young adults Gender differences Fathers Mothers Fathers’ housework Socialization Imitation Life course Italy Italian time use survey 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European University InstituteSan Domenico di FiesoleItaly

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