Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Thirty-five-hour work-week recommended for parents

Date:
April 23, 2012
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Swedish mothers of small children work a lot more now than in the 1970s. This is an important reason why so many parents feel extremely pressured for time. One way to handle the stress is to take advantage of the right for Swedish parents to work half time, according to new research.

Swedish mothers of small children work a lot more now than in the 1970s. This is an important reason why so many parents feel extremely pressured for time. One way to handle the stress is to take advantage of the right for Swedish parents to work half time, according to a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg.

The author of the thesis Jφrgen Larsson suggests shorter workweeks for parents.

Jφrgen Larsson's doctoral thesis is based on the observation that parents of small children are in the middle of the most hectic part of their lives. One major reason behind the time pressure is that parents work more hours than in the past. The total paid work time for mothers and fathers of small children has increased by an average of 10 hours per week since the 1970s.

The study, which is based on statistical analysis of 20,000 parents and interviews with 19 fathers, explores parents' temporal welfare. Temporal welfare is not only a matter of how pressed for time a person is; it also has to do with how satisfied you are with your allocation of time between for example paid work, children, partner, work at home and time to yourself. The temporal welfare is significantly lower among parents than among people without children at home.

In order to increase their temporal welfare, some parents choose to work part time, so-called parental part time. However, the gender differences in parental part time are much larger than in parental leave (28% of mothers of small children and 2 % of the corresponding fathers choose to work 30-36 hours per week because they have children). This is not only a problem for women but also for men, as it gives them less space to establish close relationships with their children.

Larsson's interviews with men who work paternal part time reveal that their unusual choice is rooted in a desire for their families to escape time pressure, for their children to not have to spend long days in childcare and for themselves to be present with their families. Yet the decision to work paternal part time is closely linked to social class: 5% of higher grade white-collar dads do, whereas the number for blue-collar and lower grade white-collar workers is only 1%.

'Individual time strategies will not be enough to change this pattern. What we need is a new type of time policy at the political level,' says Larsson. 'Such a policy would have to consider the structural obstacles facing fathers who want to work paternal part time, for example that parents with small children are expected to work full time just like everybody else in most workplaces and that the traditional role of a man is incompatible with part-time work.'

'Personally, I'd like to see a voluntary 35-hour workweek for parents of small children. The parents would get a certain government compensation for lost income, maybe for a couple of years. This would give dads an incentive to reduce their work time since a family where both parents work 35 hours a week would get twice the compensation compared to if only the mother works 30-hour workweeks,' says Larsson.

The thesis has already been publicly defended. It can be downloaded at http://hdl.handle.net/2077/28371 (on page 27-31 in the pdf-file there is a summary in English).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Thirty-five-hour work-week recommended for parents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423104746.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2012, April 23). Thirty-five-hour work-week recommended for parents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423104746.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Thirty-five-hour work-week recommended for parents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423104746.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins