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FSD1113 Paid and Unpaid Work in Families 1998

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Authors

  • Miettinen, Anneli (Finnish Family Federation. Population Research Institute)

Keywords

child care, domestic responsibilities, equality of women, family, family life, gender roles, household work strategies

Abstract

The survey studied the division of paid and unpaid work in families, and problems related to balancing work and family life (work-life balance). At first, the respondents were asked several questions about their and their spouse's work (e.g. contract, working hours, nature of work). Domestic division of labour was studied by asking the respondents to estimate the time spent daily in doing various household duties, and how household chores and activities like cooking, cleaning, child-care, shopping, working in the garden, maintenance, transporting children, paying bills, taking care of official matters, absence from work because of a child's illness had been divided in the respondents' household. The survey also carried a number of statement relating to balancing work and family life, and the respondents were asked how well these corresponded in their case (e.g. I feel I'm neglecting my spouse because of my work). Opinions on the importance of work and family life were studied. The respondents were asked to whom they would turn for help if they faced an unexpected problem, a health problem, financial problems, or needed help with childcare. Further questions asked how many close friends or relatives (outside the household) the respondents had, to how many persons they could turn for help, and how many persons the respondents themselves would be willing to help.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, type of municipality of residence, marital status, the respondent's and spouse's year of birth, basic and vocational education, occupational group, income, type of accommodation, housing tenure, monthly housing costs, size of accommodation, size of household, and the age of children.

The dataset is part of a joint European project launched in 1995 and led by professor Tineke Willemsen from the University of Tillburg in Holland. 11 European countries participated in the project (Ireland, United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Germany, France, Belgium, Finland, Greece, and Italy). Of the participating countries, 7 conducted a similar study in the years 1998-2000. The size of the samples varied between 1,500 and 5,000. The other participating countries conducted a so-called delphi survey (analysis based on expert estimates).

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