When the Kids Grow up: Domestic Work Among Italians Aged 45–64

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


In this chapter, the focus shifts to parents of children aged 15 and above. It also includes a comparison with childless Italians between 45 and 64 years old. The chapter illustrates that at this stage, like the previous ones, gender and household status have a large impact on housework. Coupled women perform more housework than single ones, with differences being greater when children are present. The pattern for participation in housework is similar, but with an evident ceiling effect for women. Education is once again a crucial element for housework time, with highly educated women spending less time on chores than lower educated ones. Not being employed and living in the Southern area of the country are also associated with doing more housework for women. For men, education has no effect on housework while non-employed men do more housework than employed ones. Finally, as for other age groups, Southern men spend less time on housework compared to those in other regions. The chapter also illustrates how relatively little time is spent caring for other adults among subjects in this age group.


Domestic work Housework Adult care Children Gender differences Fathers Mothers Motherhood Fatherhood Aging Life course Italy Italian Time Use Survey 


  1. Baxter, J., Hewitt, B., & Haynes, M. (2008). Life course transitions and housework: Marriage, parenthood, and time on housework. Journal of Marriage and Family, 70(2), 259–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blood, R., & Wolfe, D. (1960). Husbands and wives: The dynamics of married living. New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
  3. Brines, J. (1994). Economic dependency, gender, and the division of labor at home. American Journal of Sociology, 100(3), 652–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dotti Sani, G. M. (2012). La divisione del lavoro domestico e delle attività di cura nelle coppie italiane: un’analisi empirica. Stato e Mercato, 94(1), 161–192.Google Scholar
  5. Henz, U. (2009). Couples’ provision of informal care for parents and parents-in-law: Far from sharing equally? Ageing & Society, 29(03), 369–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Henz, U. (2010). Parent care as unpaid family labor: How do spouses share? Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(1), 148–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ní Bhrolcháin, M., & Beaujouan, E. (2012). Fertility postponement is largely due to rising educational enrolment. Population Studies, 66(3), 311–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Saraceno, C. (1994). The ambivalent familism of the Italian welfare state. Social Politics, 1(1), 60–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Schober, P. S. (2013). The parenthood effect on gender inequality: Explaining the change in paid and domestic work when British couples become parents. European Sociological Review, 29(1), 74–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European University InstituteSan Domenico di FiesoleItaly

Personalised recommendations