Dads Who Do Diapers: Factors that Impact Care of Young Children by Fathers

Akiko Yoshida, University of Oklahoma

Fathers have become more involved in their children’s lives in recent years, yet childcare remains gendered. Using data from the National Survey of Family Growth 2002, this study analyzes how men’s socialization, personal characteristics, and household characteristics are associated with fathers’ daily involvement in physical care of young children and play with them (n=552). The main findings are that men’s education and their wife/partner’s employment significantly increase the odds of paternal involvement in both types of child care, while having school-age child(ren) decreases the odds of such involvement. Men are more likely to provide physical care if they were raised by their biological father, if they have more than one young child, and if at least one young child is male, but these factors are not significantly associated with play. This study suggests that fathers’ roles are shaped through socialization and education, and negotiated in particular family contexts.

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Presented in Poster Session 1