Cross-national comparison of parenting attitudes: women's and men's attitudes towards participation of household tasks and childcare
Apparala, Malathi Latha
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Studying attitudes is very important because attitudes often predict actual behavior. Attitudes might be the cause of many unresolved conflicts in families and may be related to marital satisfaction. Attitudes toward participation in household tasks and childcare by fathers and mothers were explored using Resource Theory, Social Role Theory, and Postmaterialism/Materialism. Individual-level, family-level, and macro-level hypotheses were formulated to test the basic assumptions of these theories. The present study utilized data from Euro-Barometer surveys including data from 15,136 individuals residing in 13 countries in Europe. Analysis procedures included simple correlations and multi-level regression equations. On the whole, the study clearly indicated that men's and women's attitudes toward household tasks and childcare are related to various individual, and macro-level factors. It was found that at the individual level respondents held egalitarian attitudes towards household work and childcare when they were younger, were female and held liberal political attitudes. At the country level, gender empowerment, GNP, and individualism were related to egalitarian attitudes towards household work and childcare. When looking at results separately by gender, social class was positively related to egalitarian attitudes towards household work and childcare in women. Few of the hypotheses were not supported, which might be because of methodological and conceptual problems. Researchers should consider replicating the results to support these findings. Study implications, strengths and weaknesses, as well as suggestions for future research were addressed.