Work-family enrichment experiences among working fathers: evidence from Catalonia
Grau Grau, Marc
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Although there is still a gender division of labour in post-industrial countries, evidence seems to suggest that there are some fathers more involved than others, and interestingly, a growing number of fathers that want to be more involved with their children. Using the Catalan Survey on the Use of Time, this thesis aims to understand how paternal time devoted to children under 10 years old differs across educational level, income, age, number of (paid) working hours, occupation and partner’s occupation among other independent variables. Understanding patterns of those fathers involved with their children will presumably give some clues on how to promote gender equality in parenting. Furthermore, it will contribute to the fatherhood literature by expanding the research to Catalonia. Furthermore, while we know that fatherhood involvement is positively related with child outcomes and gender equality, less is known about the benefits of having both work and family roles for working fathers themselves and their jobs. Using the conceptual framework of WFE elaborated by Greenhaus and Powell (2006), this thesis seeks to explore how resources developed at home are positively transferred and applied at work, and vice versa. For that aim, 20 interviews with Catalan working fathers have been conducted. Understanding and shedding light on these hidden sources of enrichment between work and family domains might be a positive way to challenge the disproportionate attention to the conflict perspective in the work-family literature and to counteract the benefits of the “ideal worker” and “organization man”. The methodological contribution of this thesis is that it is the first study to use the Catalan Survey on the Use of Time to look at fathers as well as offering one of the first qualitative studies to examine the work-family enrichment process for fathers. Regarding the empirical contribution, the analysis of the time use data reveals that father’s age, educational level and partner’s occupation is positively associated with paternal time devoted to children. On the other hand, working hours is negatively associated with time devoted to young children. The qualitative analysis suggests that enrichment occurs under certain conditions. Interestingly, the sources of enrichment reported from family to work (invisible rewards) were different from the sources of enrichment reported from work to family. This thesis also suggested that fathers employed in higher-levels occupation were more likely to experience high levels of enrichment, but at the same time high levels of conflict.