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Intensive Mothering and Well-being: The Role of Education and Child Care Activity

Author

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  • Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio

    () (University of Zaragoza)

  • Sevilla, Almudena

    () (Queen Mary, University of London)

Abstract

We use data from the 2012 and 2013 Well-being Module of the American Time Use Survey to understand maternal momentary well-being, and how these vary by educational attainment. We document that even after controlling for a wide set of maternal characteristics, higher educated mothers report lower levels of happiness and meaning, and higher levels of fatigue when engaging in child-related activities than mothers with lower educational attainment. Further analysis reveals that there is no education gap in momentary well-being among fathers and non-mothers. These findings are consistent with more educated mothers feeling the pressures from the ideology of intensive mothering, whereby mother’s continuous time and attention is understood as being crucial for child development.

Suggested Citation

  • Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Sevilla, Almudena, 2016. "Intensive Mothering and Well-being: The Role of Education and Child Care Activity," IZA Discussion Papers 10023, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10023
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    time use; ideology of intensive mothering; child care; momentary well-being; mothering;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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