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Fathers Stepping Up? A Cross-National Comparison of Fathers’ Domestic Labor and Parents’ Satisfaction with the Division of Domestic Labor During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Petts, Richard, André, Stéfanie, Carlson, Daniel, Chung, Heejung, Milkie, Melissa, Remery, Chantal, Scheibling, Casey, Shafer, Kevin, Yerkes, Mara (2023) Fathers Stepping Up? A Cross-National Comparison of Fathers’ Domestic Labor and Parents’ Satisfaction with the Division of Domestic Labor During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Family Studies, . pp. 1-30. ISSN 1322-9400. E-ISSN 1839-3543. (doi:10.1080/13229400.2023.2181849) (KAR id:97469)

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DOI for this version: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.97469.3280487

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The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted work and family life around the world. For parents, this upending meant a potential re-negotiation of the “status quo” in the gendered division of labor. A comparative lens provides extended understandings of changes in fathers’ domestic work based in socio-cultural context—in assessing the size and consequences of change in domestic labor in relation to the type of work-care regime. Using novel harmonized data from four countries (the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands) and a work-care regime framework, this study examines cross-national changes in fathers’ shares of domestic labor during the early months of the pandemic and whether these changes are associated with parents’ satisfaction with the division of labor. Results indicate that fathers’ shares of housework and childcare increased early in the pandemic in all countries, with fathers’ increased shares of housework being particularly pronounced in the US. Results also show an association between fathers’ increased shares of domestic labor and mothers’ increased satisfaction with the division of domestic labor in the US, Canada, and the UK. Such comparative work promises to be generative for understanding the pandemic’s imprint on gender relations far into the future.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/13229400.2023.2181849
Additional information: For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence (where permitted by UKRI, an Open Government Licence or CC BY ND public copyright licence may be used instead) to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising
Uncontrolled keywords: COVID-19; fatherhood; domestic labor; relationship satisfaction; work-care regime
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (
Depositing User: Heejung Chung
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2022 16:09 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2023 15:28 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Petts, Richard:
André, Stéfanie:
Carlson, Daniel:
Chung, Heejung:
Milkie, Melissa:
Remery, Chantal:
Scheibling, Casey:
Shafer, Kevin:
Yerkes, Mara:
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