Understanding Society Scientific Conference 2019 - , University of Essex

Father's involvement in the UK: differences by nonstandard work schedules

My Programme   Add 
Day:Tue 2 Jul
  • Afshin Zilanawala, University College London

Nonstandard work schedules, or working outside of M-F 9-5, has been linked to adverse outcomes for children due to the challenges they pose for working parents. Most of the evidence has focused on mothers and the US context. The increasing attention to the role of fathers, the changing expectations of gendered family roles, and the availability of data on fathers’ involvement and his work characteristics means we can understand the predictors of father involvement. We investigate the relationship between paternal nonstandard work schedules and two dimensions of father involvement: responsibility (at 9-months and 7 years) and engagement (at 7-years). We use data from the Millennium Cohort study and the analytic samples are 4,370 and 5,053 employed fathers from the 9-month and 7-year interviews, respectively. Fathers’ employment schedules were: standard working only, worked evenings, worked nights, and worked weekends. Regressions estimated the associations between work schedules and each dimension of involvement adjusting for father and child characteristics. Nearly 60% of employed fathers at both waves worked nonstandard hours regularly; evening shift was the most common type of nonstandard work. Working any nonstandard schedule at 9-months was associated with lower levels of responsibility (b=-0.08) but increased levels of engagement at 7-years (b=0.06). Father’s nonstandard work was associated with lower levels of responsibility at age 7 (b=-0.12) which was attenuated to nonsignificance upon covariate adjustment. Working weekends at 9-months and night shifts at 7-years was related to more responsibility. Next steps include incorporating mothers’ work schedules and examining subdomains of father involvement.