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Methodological issues in the estimation of parental time – Analysis of measures in a Canadian time-use survey

  • Cara B. Fedick

    ()

    (Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy (CRISP), University of New Brunswick)

  • Shelley Pacholok

    ()

    (Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University)

  • Anne H. Gauthier

    ()

    (Department of Sociology, University of Calgary)

Registered author(s):

    Extensive small scale studies have documented that when people assume the role of assisting a person with impairments or an older person, care activities account for a significant portion of their daily routines. Nevertheless, little research has investigated the problem of measuring the time that carers spend in care-related activities. This paper contrasts two different measures of care time – an estimated average weekly hours question in the 1998 Australian Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, and diary estimates from the 1997 national Australian Time Use Survey. This study finds that diaries provide information for a more robust estimate, but only after one models the time use patterns in the days of carers to identify care-related activities, which diarists do not necessarily record as care. Such a measure of care time reveals that even people who offer only occasional assistance to a person with impairments tend to spend the equivalent of more than 10 minutes a day providing care. Most caregivers undertake the equivalent of a part-time job to help a friend or family member. Summing the average caregiving time provided by all household members reveals that over a quarter of Australian households caring for an adult or child provide the equivalent of a full-time employee’s labour, and another quarter work between 20 and 39 total weekly hours to provide informal care.

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    File URL: http://ffb.uni-lueneburg.de/eijtur/pdf/volumes/eIJTUR-2-1.pdf#page=68
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    Article provided by Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR) in its journal electronic International Journal of Time Use Research.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 1 (October)
    Pages: 67-87

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    Handle: RePEc:leu:journl:2005:vol2:p67-87
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://ffb.uni-lueneburg.de/repec/leu/

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    1. Zick, Cathleen D, 2002. "Clocking the Progress in Time Use Research: Review Article," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 435-42, September.
    2. Ragni Kitterød, 2001. "Does the recording of parallel activities in Time Use Diaries affect the way people report their main activities?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 56(2), pages 145-178, November.
    3. C. Russell Hill & Frank P. Stafford, 1980. "Parental Care of Children: Time Diary Estimates of Quantity, Predictability, and Variety," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(2), pages 219-239.
    4. Suzanne Bianchi, 2000. "Maternal employment and time with children: Dramatic change or surprising continuity?," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 401-414, November.
    5. Jonathan Gershuny & John Robinson, 1988. "Historical changes in the household division of labor," Demography, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 537-552, November.
    6. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
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