Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parents should do chores together, study says

Date:
March 21, 2013
Source:
Brigham Young University
Summary:
New research finds that keeping score with chores isn't the best path to a high-quality relationship. Instead the data points to two items that should have a permanent place on every father's to-do list: Do housework alongside your spouse, Spend quality time with the kids.

Couple doing housework together.
Credit: Image courtesy of Brigham Young University

You may have heard of couples that strive for exact equality when it comes to chores, i.e. I scrub a dish, you scrub a dish, I change a diaper, you change a diaper.

But new research finds that keeping score with chores isn't the best path to a high-quality relationship. Instead the data points to two items that should have a permanent place on a father's to-do list:

  • Do housework alongside your spouse
  • Spend quality time with the kids

"We found that it didn't matter who did what, but how satisfied people were with the division of labor," said Brigham Young University professor Erin Holmes. "We found that when wives are doing work together with their husbands, they are more satisfied with the division of labor."

Holmes and scholars from the University of Missouri and Utah State University authored the study for the Journal of Family Issues. They studied how 160 couples handled housework and child-rearing duties. The purpose of the research was to see what contributed to the quality of a marriage relationship.

The most significant factor was the quality of the fathers' relationship with their kids.

"For women, dad having a good relationship with the kids means that dad and mom are probably going to have a better relationship," Holmes said.

The study measured father involvement in a number of ways -- playing with kids, engaging in shared interests and providing teaching moments.

"Something as simple as reading a book with your children every night and talking with them about their day can really go a long way," said Adam Galovan, a BYU grad who authored the study with Holmes.

Most of the parents were between the ages of 25 and 30 and all of the couples had a child age 5 or younger.

"This stage of life, where couples have young children, is potentially really challenging for couples," Holmes said.

In fact, previous research by Holmes shows that both husbands and wives dramatically increase their household tasks during the transition to parenthood. Typically dads do twice as much housework after the first baby arrives. Moms, however, do about five times more housework than before.

Though all isn't fair in love and chores, Holmes' statistical analysis suggests that there's truth to the saying: happy wife, happy life.

"When wives are satisfied with the division of labor, both spouses report higher marital quality," Holmes said.

To put that into practice, couples could merge some of the items on their individual to-do lists, whether that's dishes, laundry, or bedtime stories. And dads should be aware that when they strengthen bonds with their kids, everyone wins.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. A. M. Galovan, E. K. Holmes, D. G. Schramm, T. R. Lee. Father Involvement, FatherChild Relationship Quality, and Satisfaction With Family Work: Actor and Partner Influences on Marital Quality. Journal of Family Issues, 2013; DOI: 10.1177/0192513X13479948

Cite This Page:

Brigham Young University. "Parents should do chores together, study says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130321093104.htm>.
Brigham Young University. (2013, March 21). Parents should do chores together, study says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130321093104.htm
Brigham Young University. "Parents should do chores together, study says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130321093104.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
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:

More Coverage


Marriages Benefit When Fathers Share Household, Parenting Responsibilities, MU Researcher Says

Apr. 8, 2013 Although no exact formula for marital bliss exists, a researcher has found that husbands and wives are happier when they share household and child-rearing responsibilities. However, sharing ... read more
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