Gender Roles, Household Labor, and Family Satisfaction: A Cross-National Comparison

Renata Forste, Brigham Young University
Kiira Fox, Brigham Young University

Data from the 2002 International Social Survey Program: Family and Changing Gender Roles (III) are analyzed for 25,847 married or cohabiting adults from 34 more developed countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the United States. We examine the associations between gender roles, household labor, and family satisfaction, and include couple and individual characteristics, as well as country level measures. Overall, we find that involvement in housework and childcare is positively associated with family satisfaction. Family satisfaction is higher among those in more traditional relationships (man breadwinner, woman homemaker) relative to other family forms; yet interaction terms indicate that men report higher family satisfaction the more involved they are in housework, and the more they agree they ought to share housework and childcare. Multi-level models indicate that only 5 percent of the variation in family satisfaction is between countries, and satisfaction is associated with increased country development.

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Presented in Session 191: Comparative Perspectives on Gender and Time Use in the Household