Australian fathers’ work and family time in comparative and temporal perspective

Lyn Craig, Killian Mullan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Expectations of fathers have moved from being financial providers to also taking an active, hands-on role in the care of children. What does this mean for contemporary Australian fathers’ time commitments to work and family? This paper draws together studies using time use data from Australia, USA, France, Italy and Denmark to show change and continuity in Australian fathers’ time over the period 1992–2006, and how they currently compare with fathers in the other countries. It discusses the policy context of each country, which may inform fathering norms and behavior, and looks at their employment time, their housework, the specific childcare activities they undertake, and how they share childcare with mothers in relative terms. The research shows gender disparities remain wide, but despite long work hours, Australian fathers are high care participants in world terms, their childcare time is going up, and they are increasing their repertoire of care activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-174
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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