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Title: Time or Money: the Impact of Parental Employment on Time that 4 to 5 Year Olds Spend in Language Building Activities
Contributor(s): Brown, Judith Elizabeth  (author); Bittman, Michael  (author); Nicholson, Jan M. (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: Early childhood is a critical time for establishing the communication and literacy skills that shape children's subsequent academic, social and employment opportunities. Debates around the family environments that support children's optimal development, have focused on mothers' workforce participation, neglecting the effects fathers' working hours, and socioeconomic differences. This study examined time use diary data collected for a large sample of Australian four to five year-old children. It considered the relationships between parental employment and the amount of daily time that children spent in language-related activities by income group. For low and middle income families the combined effect of fathers working long hours and mothers working, resulted in children spending significantly less time in language-related activities. In contrast, for high income families, parental employment hours had no impact on children's time use. These findings suggest that for children at greatest risk of poor developmental outcomes, developmental opportunities may be enhanced by strategies that reduce levels of long work hours by fathers.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Labour Economics, 10(3), p. 149-165
Publisher: Centre for Labour Market Research
Place of Publication: Canberra (ACT), Australia
ISSN: 1328-1143
Field of Research (FOR): 160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Other Links:;dn=193031303257983;res=IELBUS
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