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Do Fathers Enjoy Parenting More than Mothers?

Katie Tyler

27th September 2022

Giacomo Vagni recently published research suggesting that fathers are happier than mothers when parenting.

Although this statement may seem quite shocking, Vagni does go on to suggest reasons for this conclusion. The research used data from The United Kingdom Time Use Survey 2014-2015. Vagni explored how time alone, time in a couple and time with children each had an impact on a person’s overall well-being. The data collected suggested that, although all family members benefit from family time, it was was fathers who enjoyed time with their children the most. The research suggests this might be due fathers being able to separate their paid work roles and duties: to effectively ‘switch off’. Meanwhile mothers were managing household duties at the same time as looking after children. In addition, mothers are more likely to suffer from anxiety and stress due to expectations placed upon them as a mother. Therefore women are still juggling full-time paid employment and having the main share of household responsibilities (‘second shift’). Vagni found that women are also less likely to enjoy time alone in the home, as they were more likely than fathers to be interrupted by their children when alone.

Students could make links to family, feminism, triple shift, emotional load, symmetrical roles. The full article can be read here

Katie Tyler

Katie is an experienced Sociology teacher and examiner.

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