Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More on the Recession and Joblessness and Dads

In the comment's to Saturday's post, Phillip Cohen posted a link to his thoughtful HuffPo piece on the impact of past recessions on family life, and his predictions for this go-round. Well worth the read. An excerpt:

One possibility is that men's unemployment will lead to more men taking on childcare responsibilities at home. Despite the considerable volume of ink spilled over cultural shifts, nothing changes gendered behavior like economic necessity. The last time we saw that happen was the 1990-91 recession - which was driven by declines in industrial production. Those of us who study housework and childcare are used to seeing trend lines that don't show much change in recent years, so the upward spike in this graph for the 1991 recession has drawn some interest since it was first pointed out by Lynne Casper.

2008-12-10-dadcare.jpgSource: U.S. Census Bureau.

During the 1991 recession, more husbands were the primary childcare providers for their preschool-aged children - and then the trend went back to (just above) normal.

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