Caregiving Dads, Breadwinning Mums: Pathways to the Division of Family Roles Among Role-Reversed and Traditional Parents

Mariana Pinho, Ruth Gaunt, Harriet Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aimed to explore the circumstances and considerations that lead to the allocation of family roles among male carer/female breadwinner families in comparison to traditional parents. A sample of 236 parents with children from birth to 5 years old completed extensive questionnaires about their daily routines and perceptions of their division of responsibilities. Economic considerations or labor market constraints were mentioned as main reasons by parents in both traditional and role-reversed arrangements, however, parents in traditional roles were more likely to mention suitability for the role as a key consideration. The results further showed that main caregivers—fathers and mothers alike—had a higher perception of choice over the allocation of roles and were significantly more satisfied with their division than main breadwinners. The majority of breadwinners wished they could work fewer hours, and breadwinning mothers, more than fathers, wished their partner could work more hours. The findings also shed light on the relationship between perception of choice, satisfaction with the current arrangement and preference for a change in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-374
Number of pages29
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Volume57
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • breadwinning mothers
  • caregiving fathers
  • childcare
  • choice
  • family and work
  • role-reserved parenting

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