Childcare Involvement of Italian Fathers

Maria-Letizia Tanturri, University of Pavia
Letizia Mencarini, University of Florence

The aim of this paper is to show the degree of father participation in mundane child-tending tasks and to evaluate individual- and couple-characteristics favoring this involvement. Our analysis, based on data from the Multipurpose Italian surveys on Family and Social Actors, carried out by ISTAT on a national representative sample of private households, has confirmed that the childcare burden rests mainly on the woman’s shoulders. Only a small minority of fathers perform all the routine activities of childcare on a daily basis. However, father commitment increases substantially if the mother is employed and both partners are more educated. Factors such as professional condition and working hours, and their combination between partners, have a considerable impact in shaping gender roles with special regard to childcare. Our findings reveal that role reconciliation can be facilitated when–other things being equal–fathers are blue-collar or work a reduced number of hours.

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Presented in Session 165: Families and the Dynamics of Child Care