The Time Squeeze: Parental Statuses and Feelings About Time With Children

M A. Milkie, University of Maryland - College Park
Marybeth Mattingly, University of New Hampshire - Main Campus
K M. Nomagucchi, Northern Illinois University
S M. Bianchi, University of Maryland - College Park
J P. Robinson, University of Maryland - College Park


Policy makers, parents, and the public are concerned with perceived declines in parents’ time with children. Data from two national surveys (N = 1,159 and N = 821) used in this study show that nearly half of parents report feeling too little time with children. Work hours are strongly related to these feelings, even controlling for time spent with children, and explain why fathers more than mothers feel time strain. For fathers, those whose youngest child is an adolescent feel more strain than similarly situated mothers. Controlling for work hours, single parents are not more likely than married parents to feel that they spend insufficient time with children.