Children’s time use in two-parent and single-parent families in Italy

Letizia Mencarini, UniversitĂ  degli Studi di Torino and Collegio Carlo Alberto
Silvia Pasqua, University of Turin
Agnese Romiti, IAB, Nuremberg

A vast sociological and psychological literature has showed that children from intact and non intact families have different scholastic and behavioural outcomes. This may be due to the different parental investment both in terms of money and in terms of time spent with the children. In this paper we investigate whether living with both parents affects the time devoted by children in more formative activities such as reading and studying with respect to children living with a single parent. We use data from the Italian Time Use Survey for the year 2008 that contains a detailed time diary for all family members above the age of three. We concentrate our analysis on children between 5 and 18 year old and we find that having a single parent reduces the time children devote to readying and studying and this effect turns out to be driven by poor single mothers and low educated single mothers. In addition the negative effect of having a single parent is higher for single children.

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Presented in Session 35: Intergenerational links, care arrangements and well-being