Babies and work: a study of employed parents of infants

Robbins, Dorothy B. (1990) Babies and work: a study of employed parents of infants. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This study examined the absence from paid work for child birth and infant care by mothers and fathers in thirty-five, dual-earning families. Respondents were also asked about their division of child care and household tasks; how satisfied they were with current infant care arrangements and what kind of system of parental leave and benefits should be available through public policy. The sample was recruited through obstetrical care hospitals and a family practice physicians' clinic in St. John's. All respondents were in the workforce at the time they were recruited for the sample. Mothers and fathers were interviewed by telephone, using a research instrument constructed for this study, 5 to 12 months after their infant was born. All but one of the mothers had returned to work at the time of the interview and all the fathers were in the workforce. All mothers took time off from work for child birth and infant care. Most took 17 weeks, the time that corresponded to the 15 weeks benefit period through Unemployment Insurance, plus the required 2 week waiting period, that was available when the research was conducted. Most fathers, not being eligible for paternity leave or benefits f took only a few days off around the time of child birth. Approximately one-quarter of the sample were egalitarian with respect to the division of child care and household tasks. One-quarter were quite traditional, with the mother being responsible for these tasks most of the time, and the remainder were semi-traditional with the fathers "helping out" but not primarily responsible for these tasks. The majority of the sample favoured a longer period of paid maternity leave than was available to them and a period of paid paternity leave. The majority of respondents agreed with the concept of mothers and fathers sharing a period of parental leave. In 22% of the sample both the mothers and the fathers said they would have shared the leave, had that option been available to them. Thirty-three per-cent of the egalitarian families would have shared parental leave, compared to only 10% of the traditional families.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5936
Item ID: 5936
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 100-104.
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: November 1990
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Parental leave--Newfoundland and Labrador

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