This article accompanies Fathers Know Best.
The 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce study by the Families and Work Institute, entitled Times are Changing: Gender and Generation at Work and at Home, offers these findings, related to the impact of parenthood on fathers:
Fathers are spending more time with their children today than three decades ago.
Employed fathers spend significantly more time per workday with their children under age 13 today than they did three decades ago, while the amount of time employed mothers spend with their children under that age per workday has not changed significantly.
* The amount of time fathers spend with their children under age 13 on workdays has increased from two hours to three hours -- an increase of one hour.
* At the same time, the amount of time mothers spend with their children under age 13 on workdays has remained constant at an average of 3.8 hours.
Both millennial fathers and mothers are spending considerably more time with their children.
* Today?s millennial fathers spend an average of 4.3 hours per workday with their children under age 13, significantly more than their age counterparts in 1977 who spent an average of 2.4 hours per workday with their children -- a dramatic increase of almost two hours (1.9 hours).
* Mothers under 29 spend an average of 5 hours per workday with their children under age 13 in 2008, up from 4.5 hours in 1977 -- a half-hour increase.
Millennial fathers spend more time with their children than Gen X fathers and mothers.
* While the average time per workday spent with children under age 13 has increased for both young parents and parents ages 29 to 42, the increase is more dramatic among young parents (under age 29) than among older parents (ages 29 to 42).
* The rate of increase in workday time spent with children under age 13 is greatest among men under 29. Fathers under 29 today spend an average of 4.3 hours per workday with their children, up by 1.9 hours since 1977.
* Fathers age 29 to 42 today spend more than a full hour less than younger fathers on average with their children per workday (3.1 versus 4.3 hours); the increase since 1977 was 1.2 hours.
* Time spent with children per workday increased by .5 hours for young mothers and 0.2 hours for mothers 29 to 42.
Men are taking more overall responsibility for the care of their children in 2008 than in 1992, according to themselves and their wives/partners.
?Taking responsibility for the care of children? means not only providing one-on-one care, but also managing child care arrangements.
In 2008, men who say their wives or partners take the most responsibility for child care are no longer the majority (48 percent in 2008 compared with 58 percent in 1992). The nearly half of employed men (49 percent) who now say they take most or an equal share of child-care responsibilities is up from 41 percent in 1992.
Importantly, employed women agree that their husbands or partners are taking more responsibility for child care:
* The percentage of women reporting that they take most responsibility for child care has dropped (from 73 percent in 1992 to 67 percent in 2008).
* Alternatively, the percentage of those who say their spouse takes or shares the responsibility increased significantly (from 21 percent in 1992 to 31 percent in 2008).
Changing gender roles appear to have increased the level of work/life conflict experienced by men.
Men?s reported level of work/life conflict has risen significantly over the past three decades, while the level of conflict reported by women has not changed significantly.
* In 1977, the proportions of men and women reporting some or a lot of work/life conflict were similar.
* Men?s work/life conflict, however, has increased significantly from 34 percent in 1977 to 45 percent in 2008, while women?s work/life conflict has increased less dramatically and not significantly: from 34 percent in 1977 to 39 percent in 2008.
Employed fathers in dual-earner families, especially, are experiencing conflict.
The majority of fathers in dual-earner couples (59 percent) report experiencing some or a lot of conflict today, up from 35 percent in 1977.
The level of work/life conflict experienced by employed mothers in dual-earner couples has not changed significantly over the past three decades.
As a result, employed fathers in dual-earner couples are now significantly more likely to experience some or a lot of work/life conflict than mothers in dual-earner couples.
See the whole study here (PDF).