Parental leisure time: a gender comparison in five countries

Lyn Craig, Killian Mullan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contrasting family policies, employment regulation, childcare provision, and gender attitudes mean that the gender division of paid work and childcare varies cross-nationally. Does it follow that the quality and quantity of mothers and fathers' leisure time also vary across countries? We conduct a gender comparison of parents' leisure time using nationally representative time-use data from five countries with divergent patterns in the gender division of paid work and childcare; Australia, United States, France, Italy, and Denmark (N = 5230). To capture aspects of quality, we differentiate between child-free leisure and leisure shared with children, and TV and non-TV leisure with children. In addition, we analyze the extent to which leisure is interspersed with childcare in the sequence of mothers' and fathers' daily activities. Overall leisure time is highest for Danish parents of both genders. Notwithstanding, in all countries both the quantity and quality of leisure time favor fathers, suggesting that gender differences in leisure persist independently of national patterns in the amount and division of paid work and childcare.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-357
JournalSocial Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2013


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