Mothers', Fathers' and Siblings' Housework Time Within Family Households

Faculty/Professorship: Demography  
Author(s): Schulz, Florian  
Title of the Journal: Journal of Marriage and Family
ISSN: 0022-2445, 1741-3737
Corporate Body: National Council on Family Relations
Publisher Information: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA : NCFR
Year of publication: 2021
Volume: 83
Issue: 3
Pages: 803-819
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1111/jomf.12762

To investigate time use of housework for all members of family households, especially focusing on how time allocation varied by siblings' gender composition.


Three knowledge gaps were addressed: the allocation of housework time between all family members; children's contributions to housework, focusing on the relevance of sibling structure; and the differences in time allocation of housework by parental education within family households. The study contributes to the understanding of the family as the primary socialization environment and the foundations of gender inequality of unpaid work time in the life course and in society.


478 four-person households were sampled from the German Time Use Study from 2001/2002 and 2012/2013. Using information from 3,743 time diaries, absolute and relative time use for total housework on Mondays through Fridays was analyzed according to siblings' gender composition, applying linear regression.


Mothers and daughters spent more time on housework in shared family households than fathers and sons. Total housework time was lowest in households with two sons and highest in households with two daughters. Older daughters spent more time on housework than younger daughters, and sons with a sister spent more time on housework than sons with a brother, regardless of the birth order. Parents' education had no impact on the time allocation in this sample.


Children's gender plays a role in their interaction with their parents, and both gender identity at the individual level and the dyadic gender compositions of families must be considered when explaining the household allocation of housework.
GND Keywords: Deutschland; Familienangehöriger; Hausarbeit; Arbeitsteilung; Zeitbudget
Keywords: children, family relations, gender, parent education, parent–child relationships, socialization
DDC Classification: 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology  
RVK Classification: MS 3075   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 5. July 2021
Project: Arbeitsteilung in der Familie