This study examined stay-at-home father households and their members. Different definitions of stay-at-home father households were constructed based on the income and the distribution of spouses' working hours. Using social exchange theory, gender roles theory, and feminist perspective, definitions were tested regarding the likelihood that the husband was the primary caregiver and the wife was the primary breadwinner. To answer this question, data from the Current Population Survey of 1968 to 2008 was used. By examining 41 years of data, I was able to follow trends in the characteristics of stay-at-home father households over time. Using descriptive statistics and logistic regression, results showed the probability of a household becoming a stay at home father household increased when: (a) there were fewer and older children in the household, as compared to stay-at-home mother households; (b) the husband suffered from some disability that limited his ability to work; and, (c) the wife had greater earnings or earning potential than her husband. Results also indicate that stay-at-home father households are growing in their relevance and that fathers are more likely to become stay-at-home fathers only when the family demands are lower in terms on number and age of children. In sum, stay-at-home father households experienced tremendous change in the last 41 years. This change was threefold. First, stay-at-home father households almost tripled in their frequency within the U.S. population. Second, stay-at-home father households shifted from being low-income, low-education and old parental-age households that were forced into such a household paid-work structure because of inability of the father to work or find work, to households that, in greater numbers, were choosing to become stay-at-home father households. The third and related shift was a change in the characteristics of stay-at-home father households. Stay-at-home father households, and especially those who chose to become such households, became more similar in all characteristics (income, number of children, age of children, number of children 5 years of age and under, age of spouses and education of spouses) to dual-earner households and especially to stay-at-home mother households.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2011. Major: Family Social science. Advisor: B. Jan McCulloch. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 152 pages, appendices A-O.
Nexus between work and family in stay-at-home father households: analysis using the current population surveys, 1968-2008..
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