program

Project Summary
The project aims at a detailed description and understanding of biological parents’ child involvement across diverse family structures in the Netherlands, and of the importance of fairness thereby.  The organization of childrearing has become less self-evident over the last decades due to the increase in women’s labor market position and the increase in complex families due to the rise in divorce. Most research so far focused on intact families with most attention being paid to the division of household labor, and not so much to the division of child care. The organization of childrearing in more complex families following divorce has received less attention. Moreover, how principles of fairness regulate perceptions about parenting and parenting behavior is overlooked, particularly in case of complex families. We argue that insights from sociology and philosophy are necessary to get a better understanding of childrearing. The organization of child rearing in intact and complex families will be studied, with the latter being divided in different household structures based on residence arrangement of the child after divorce (mother residence, father residence, or shared residence) and marital status of the parent after divorce (single or cohabiting/married). In addition, parents’ perceptions of fairness of the organization of childrearing and their relation with parenting behavior is examined in both intact and complex families. Questions to be asked are 1) To what extent does parental involvement of biological mothers and fathers differ across diverse family structures? 2) To what extent do partners in intact families (dis)agree in their fairness judgement of parental involvement, and how can we explain the degree of (dis)agreement in their fairness judgement? 3) To what extent does the role of economic and cultural factors in explaining the division of childrearing tasks differ between intact and complex families? And 4) What are the determinants of parents’ perceptions of fairness regarding the organization of childrearing in complex families and do these differ from those in intact families?

Research Design and Data
New Families in the Netherlands (NFN; Poortman et al., 2014) is a unique survey to answer the above questions, because it includes a large sample of complex families as well as intact families and contains detailed information about parents’ fairness judgements regarding childrearing and parents’ childrearing behavior. Moreover, in the sample of intact families, often both parents participated in the survey (couple-level approach), whereas other datasets mainly include only one parent. An experiment will be designed to test the determinants of people’s judgements of fairness regarding the division of childrearing in complex and intact families.

PhD Student
Tara Koster

Supervisor(s)
Prof. dr. ir. T. (Tanja) van der Lippe (Utrecht University)
Dr. Anne-Rigt Poortman (Utrecht University)
Prof. dr. P. (Pauline) Kleingeld (University of Groningen)

Period
September 1, 2017 - August 31, 2021

Funding
SCOOP

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