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Many Fathers Struggle to Balance Work, Family: Survey

WEDNESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Most working fathers say they want to share child-raising duties equally with their spouse/partner, but a lot of them admit that they aren't actually doing so, a new survey shows.

The findings suggest that many dads are conflicted about finding a work-family balance, according to researchers at the Boston College Center for Work & Family.

The survey of nearly 1,000 American fathers with professional careers found that the respondents rated job security and flexible working hours as more important than high income and good advancement opportunities.

Fathers who spend more time with their children had more confidence as parents, but only one in 20 took more than two weeks off work after their child was born, the results indicated.

Most fathers also said that a supportive work environment leads to more satisfied staff, who are then more likely to stay with the company, they noted.

The researchers were surprised to discover that 53 percent of the fathers would consider staying at home if it was financially feasible, a finding that suggests the role of stay-at-home dad is becoming more socially acceptable.

"We see that fathers, too, need a family-supportive work environment when it comes to aligning work and family, and this has tangible benefits for their jobs and careers, and in turn for their organizations," lead author and center executive director Brad Harrington said in a college news release.

More information

There's more on changing family roles at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Boston College, news release, June 15, 2011

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