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Study: Working moms multitask more and have worse time doing so than dads
Date:11/30/2011

ke place, and mothers' activities in these settings are highly visible to other people," Schneider said. "Therefore, their ability to fulfill their role as good mothers can be easily judged and criticized when they multitask in these contexts, making it a more stressful and negative experience for them than for fathers."

Working fathers don't typically face these types of pressures, the authors said. "Although they are also expected to be involved in their children's lives and do household chores, fathers are still considered to be the family's major provider," Offer said. "As a result, fathers face less normative pressures and are under less scrutiny when they perform and multitask at home and in public."

So, what can be done to improve the situation for mothers? It's pretty simplefathers need to step up.

"The key to mothers' emotional well-being is to be found in the behavior of fathers," Offer said. "I think that in order to reduce mothers' likelihood of multitasking and to make their experience of multitasking less negative, fathers' share of housework and childcare has to further increase."

Policymakers and employers can help facilitate this, the authors said. "Policymakers and employers should think about how to alter current workplace cultures, which constitute serious obstacles when it comes to getting fathers more involved in their families and homes," Offer said.

"For example, I think that fathers should have more opportunities to leave work early or start work late, so they can participate in important family routines; to take time off for family events; and to limit the amount of work they bring home, so they can pay undivided attention to their children and spouse during the evening hours and on weekends. The goal is to initiate a process that will alter fathers' personal preferences and priorities and eventually lead to more egalitarian norms regarding mothers' and fathers' parenting roles."


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Contact: Daniel Fowler
pubinfo@asanet.org
202-527-7885
American Sociological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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