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EFFECTS OF PARENTAL LEAVE AND WORK HOURS ON FATHERS' INVOLVEMENT WITH THEIR BABIES

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Using data from the first wave of the Millennium Cohort Study, covering a large birth cohort of children in the UK at age 8 to 12 months, this paper examines the effects of leave-taking and work hours on fathers' involvement in four specific types of activities: being the main caregiver; changing diapers; feeding the baby; and getting up during the night. We also investigate the effects of policies on fathers' leave-taking and work hours. We find that taking leave and working shorter hours are related to fathers being more involved with the baby, and that policies affect both these aspects of fathers' employment behaviour. Thus, we conclude that policies that provide parental leave or shorter work hours could increase fathers' involvement with their young children.
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Keywords: child care; father involvement; parental leave; work hours

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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