Young people’s time use and maternal employment in the UK

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This paper analyses the relationship between young people's time use and maternal employment in the United Kingdom (UK). Two dimensions of young people's time use are important for understanding the impact of maternal employment. The first of these is family context. This concerns the time young people are near their parents or not. The second relates to young people's activity patterns. Combining information from both dimensions is necessary to provide a comprehensive overview of the impact of maternal employment on young people's time use. The paper demonstrates that young people's time use is associated with maternal employment both in terms of activity patterns and family context. Young people with employed mothers spend more time alone with a father, and more time with neither parent. More specifically, young people with mothers employed full time (FT) spend significantly more time watching TV than those whose mothers are not employed, especially when they are not near any parents. There is a negative association between FT maternal employment and the time young people spend in achievement-related activities, concentrated in time when alone with a mother. Unlike time in leisure activities or time watching TV, time in achievement-related activities when in the presence of a father does not increase to compensate for the loss in time spent in achievement-related activities when alone with a mother.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-762
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


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