Ohio Working Family Survey Shows Women Still Do Most Housework

June 09, 1998

Cincinnati -- Ohio husbands continue to avoid responsibility for routine housework, while their wives, many of them holding full-time jobs, do the lion's share of household chores, a statewide survey conducted by the University of Cincinnati finds.

This resulting "second shift" for women can place a strain on marriages, shows the Survey of Ohio's Working Families conducted by UC's Kunz Center for the Study of Work and Family.

In March 1998, working parents in Ohio were randomly selected to respond to the Kunz Center's survey. Married respondents were shown a list of 11 household tasks and asked how the chores were divided between them and their spouses.

Of the five routine tasks traditionally done by women (cooking meals, doing the dishes, laundry, grocery shopping and housecleaning), husbands estimated that on average they did these jobs 27 percent of time. Wives estimated their husbands' contribution to these tasks to be 18 percent. On child care, husbands said they assumed 35 percent of the responsibility for this task, but wives estimated their husbands' contribution to child care at 27 percent.

While the vast majority of spouses (94 percent) report that they are somewhat or very satisfied with their spouses, husbands' participation in routine household chores produces different levels of satisfaction within marriages. Men who do more housework report significantly lower levels of satisfaction with their wives, while women whose husbands do more housework are more satisfied with their mates.

"This places couples in a difficult situation. If a woman has a husband who helps out with housework, she will be happier with him, but he will be less happy with her," said David Maume, UC sociologist, Kunz Center director and author of the Ohio study.

"Men may support their wives working, but men also expect their wives to take care of the home and are unhappy when asked to do more housework. Thus, many women work full time during the day, and then work a 'second shift' of household chores at night," said Maume.

Also, the survey finds that people who exercise power in the workplace also exercise power in the division of housework. Men who perform managerial duties do significantly less housework, while female managers get their husbands to participate more in household maintenance. Educational levels of husbands or wives and family income were unrelated to men's share of housework.

Men do handle such tasks as trash disposal, yard work, home and auto repair, and handling finances an average of 70 percent of the time. But the difference between men's and women's jobs in the home is that men's tasks can be delayed, while women's tasks are more constant and demanding.

The Ohio findings show men's contribution to household chores has changed little from earlier decades, when husbands' share of housework was estimated at 20-25 percent, Maume said.

More than 500 Ohio residents responded to a survey the Kunz center mailed to randomly selected parents. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percent.

The purpose of the Survey of Ohio's Working Families is to examine the ways families deal with the problems of balancing work and family life, particularly in light of the dramatic changes in women's work and family roles in the last half century. The Kunz Center for the Study of Work and Family is headquartered in UC's Department of Sociology. More information about the Kunz Center and the survey can be obtained from the Kunz Center's web page at http://ucaswww.mcm.uc.edu/sociology/kunzctr/.
-end-


University of Cincinnati

Related Child Care Articles from Brightsurf:

Study finds surprising diversity in early child care
A new study of kindergarteners in one Midwestern state identified seven different pathways the children took in their early education and care before arriving at school.

Social factors play a key role in missed well-child care visits
Despite the benefits of well-child care visits (WCV), up to half of WCVs are missed.

Child care centers rarely require flu vaccination for children or their caregivers
Influenza can be especially dangerous for children, who are at greater risk for serious complications from the illness, including hospitalization and even death.

Ten-state program increases healthy eating and physical activity at child care facilities
Nearly 1,200 child care programs in 10 states have improved their healthy eating and physical activity standards after participating in Nemours Children's Health System's National Early Care and Education Learning Collaboratives (NECELC) project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Women report skipping scientific conferences because of child care
Many women find themselves skipping scientific conferences because of family obligations, a new study finds.

Study finds personal care products send a child to the emergency room every two hours
A new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that 64,686 children younger than five years of age were treated in US emergency departments for injuries related to personal care products from 2002 through 2016 -- that is the equivalent of about one child every two hours.

Residential child care project addresses emotional pain without causing it
A model of care for children's residential agencies takes children's emotional pain into account and emphasizes the bond between the children and their caregivers.

Digital parent training for child's disruptive behavior successful in primary health care
A program developed for the early detection of children's disruptive behavior and low-threshold digital parent training intervention was successfully transferred to child health clinics in primary health care, shows a new Finnish study.

Pediatric advance care planning linked to better understanding of child's end-of-life care choices
The more that families understand the end-of-life treatment preferences expressed by adolescents living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the less likely these youth are to suffer HIV-related symptoms compared with youths whose families do not understand their end-of-life care goals, according to a single-blinded, randomized study published online Oct.

Illinois child care providers need resources to serve children with disabilities
Illinois child care providers often lack the resources to serve children with disabilities, study finds.

Read More: Child Care News and Child Care Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.