Sociology Faculty Publications


Doing the Scut Work of Infant Care: Does Religiousness Encourage Father Involvement?

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Considerable debate exists regarding whether religiousness promotes or impedes greater father involvement in parenting. Our study addresses this issue using a Midwestern longitudinal dataset that tracks the transition to first parenthood for 169 married couples. We focus on performance of the "messier" tasks of infant care. We find little evidence that religiousness enhances father involvement in this domain. Biblically conservative couples exhibit a greater gender gap in childcare than others, with mothers more involved than fathers. The gender gap is also greater the more fathers work outside the home, the greater mothers' knowledge of infant development, and the more unadaptable the infant. Average daily childcare is lower the greater spouses' work hours, but higher with difficult pregnancies or fussy babies.

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Availability via databases maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine.

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Journal of Marriage and the Family

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