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Title: Gender, work and domestic practices in 21st century UK families : implications for family well-being and child development
Author: Bird, Lauren Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 8882
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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The diversification of modern family labour patterns exemplifies a socio-cultural shift away from strongly gendered work and family role attitudes. This research explores the gender division of labour and gender attitudes amongst parents in a recent UK cohort study, and the associations between parental gender attitudes and behaviours with family well-being and child cognitive development. Paid labour, gender attitudes and household socio-economic characteristics were explored as predictors of the division of domestic labour to understand trends in how labour was divided by two parent families in the Millennium Cohort Study. Associations between the division of paid and domestic labour and gender attitudes were then examined as predictors of parental psychological distress and relationship satisfaction using logistic and linear regression respectively. Next, using the gender attitudes and behaviour variables of interest, children’s Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire across childhood and cognitive development at age 7 were investigated using multilevel mixed effects and linear regressions. Associations were found between parents’ paid labour, gender attitudes and domestic labour. More egalitarian divisions of labour and gender attitudes were associated with better mental health and relationship satisfaction for parents. Negative attitudes towards maternal employment were associated with increased behavioural difficulties. Although, gender attitudes and the division of labour were associated with children’s cognitive outcomes, they were largely explained by differences in parental education and income. However, some significant interactions remained, including finding that gender differences in word reading at age 7 were concentrated in households with non-egalitarian maternal gender role attitudes. This research explores the impact of gender on family relations in contemporary UK households. It provides considerable evidence for associations between gender attitudes and behaviours and family well-being and child cognitive development. In particular, the gendered home environment and gendered beliefs can be useful predictors for understanding inequalities in well-being and social-emotional and cognitive development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available