• Article

Men's Housework: A Life Course Perspective

Using a representative sample of married couples with children in the United States, this study explored how the timing of the transition to parenthood is associated with later divisions of domestic labor. Three common explanations for gender-segregated divisions of household labor--ideology, relative resources, and time availability--were tested for early- and delayed-birth couples with a covariance structure model (LISREL). Time availability and wife's ideology were consistent predictors of husbands' sharing more of the routine housework in both early and delayed households. Resource/exchange models were supported for early-birth couples and socialization/ideology models were supported for delayed-birth couples. Explanations for the influence of birth timing on patterns of household labor are discussed and the need for future longitudinal analysis is stressed


Coltrane, S., & Ishii-Kuntz, M. (1992). Men's Housework: A Life Course Perspective. Journal of Marriage and Family, 54(1), 43-57.