Fernández-Cornejo, J.A., Escot, L.,Del-Pozo, E. & Castellanos-Serrano, C. (2016) ‘Do Fathers Who Took Childbirth Leave Become More Involved in Their Children’s Care? The case of Spain’. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, XLVII(2), pp. 169-191.
This article is based on a survey that we conducted among 1,130 couples with children 3-8 years old, in Madrid and its metropolitan area. This allowed us, in the first place to obtain an estimation of the take-up rate and duration of the different kinds of childbirth leaves that Spanish workers use when they have or adopt a child. In the second place, the participation of the father has been analyzed in comparison to the mother’s in 18 specific childcare activities. A measure for father involvement in childcare (relative to the mother) that included 14 non-playful activities of childcare was built from there. Then, from a quantitative analysis with path analysis modelling with Amos program, we have obtained evidence that fathers who took more time off later tended to be more involved in the most routine childcare activities. Moreover, when considering other determinants of father’s involvement in childcare, we can highlight the importance of having egalitarian gender attitudes, working in a family-friendly company, the net earnings, and the mother´s working week. Most of these variables affect father’s involvement in childcare directly and indirectly, through their effects on the duration of childbirth leave (which serves as a mediating variable). Finally, a specific determinant of the duration of childcare leave was the introduction of a 13-day paternity leave in Spain, in March 2007.
The article can be accessed at Journal of Comparative Family Studies.