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Parents Between Work and Family Demands in the UK and Germany

Hoherz, Stefanie (2017) Parents Between Work and Family Demands in the UK and Germany. PhD thesis, University of Essex.


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This thesis consists of three empirical chapters on the work and family demands of parents in the UK and Germany. The chapters are related in their focus on how parents combine employment careers with family demands, the consideration of financial constraints facing families, as well as the longitudinal approach to answering the research questions. First, the Introduction discusses the overall topic, both in broad terms and in relation to the individual chapters. Chapter 1 analyses the effect of fatherhood on men’s work hours and work hour preferences in the UK. The study shows that it is not fatherhood alone that has an effect on men’s work hours, but that it also depends on the partners’ employment status. It is also shown that the effect of fatherhood in this respect is mainly limited to households with children between one and five years of age. Chapter 2 analyses how UK mothers’ and fathers’ work hour demands affect the time they spend with their children in structured outdoor leisure activities, eating dinner together, and talking about important matters. Parents who work relatively long hours spend less structured outdoor leisure time with their children than other parents, but only in households where both parents are employed. For fathers, longer work hours also affect their frequency of eating with the family, while talking about important matters is not affected. The focus of Chapter 3 is on the relevance, in Germany, of both partners’ resources and especially the impact of career uncertainties for mothers’ returns into full-time and part-time employment after the birth of a child. The results show that both partners’ earning prospects play an important role for mothers’ (re-)entry decisions. Also interesting is that mothers seem to compensate for the negative effects of their partners’ unemployment experiences with increased labour force participation. The thesis finishes with a conclusion that summarises the results of my research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Stefanie Hoherz
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2017 10:14
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2017 10:14

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