Parental Leave and Fathers' Involvement with Children in Bangladesh: A Comparison with United States.

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Journal Name
Journal of Comparative Family Studies
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Author (Individual)
Jesmin, Syeda S.
Seward, Rudy Ray.
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Journal Article
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Much is unknown about how traditional fathering roles have changed in the developing nations in conjunction with the rise of nuclear dual earner families. Fathers' employment leave patterns and involvement with children were assessed for a convenience sample of 86 parents in Bangladesh. Fifty-nine mothers and 27 fathers completed self-administered questionnaires on employment leave, child care activities, and attitudes. Questionnaires and measures used were based on a United States (U.S.) study with a comparable sample (cf. Seward, Yeatts, Amin, & DeWitt, 2006) in order to allow a comparison of Bangladesh fathers to those in the U.S. Three questions were addressed. (1) To what extent do Bangladeshi fathers take leave for childbirth? (2) To what extent are Bangladeshi fathers involved with children? (3) How do Bangladeshi fathers' leave and involvement pattern compare with fathers' practices in the United States? For some of the data comparison were made between single and dual earner Bangladeshi families to examine if father's leave patterns and involvement varied by family type. Bangladeshi fathers took shorter leaves in conjunction with childbirth than U.S. fathers. In both samples, fathers who took leave participated more in all child care tasks when compared to fathers who did not take leave. Bangladeshi families are facing a similar situation to U.S. low-income families. Like U.S. fathers, economic factors play a major role in Bangladeshi fathers' leave taking. (Author abstract)

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