Abstract

In this paper we examine changes in the time American children spent with their parents between 1981 and 1997, and the contribution to these changes made by shifting patterns of female labor force participation, family structure, and parental education. We decompose changes into the parts attributable to changes in demographic characteristics and the parts probably due to changes in behavior. In general, children’s time with parents did not decrease over the period; in two-parent families it increased substantially. Population-level changes in demographic characteristics exerted only small direct effects on the time children spent with parents.

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