Family Flexibility in Response to Economic Conditions: Fathers' Involvement in Child-Care Tasks.

Journal Name
Journal of Marriage and Family
Journal Volume
Journal Issue
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Knop, Brian.
Brewster, Karin L.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Recession-related increases in men's child care are well documented, but supporting evidence describes the last several decades of the 20th century. Changes in family life and in the association between families' economic conditions and the macro economy provide reason to question the continued existence of a “recession effect.” This article evaluates the frequency of married and cohabiting fathers' engagement in the day-to-day tasks of child care during the so-called Great Recession, using data from male respondents to the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth. Results indicated an increase in men's frequency of engagement in physical care and feeding, starting in 2008 and continuing into 2010. The share of men engaged in daily play fell sharply at the recession's onset but rebounded in subsequent years. These results suggest that, even with a narrowing of the gendered division of domestic labor, room remains for families to respond flexibly to economic shifts. (Author abstract)

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