Does Children’s Housework Matter?: Adult Trajectories of Boys and Girls Who Spend Time Doing Household Chores and Sibling Care

Jennifer L. Romich, University of Washington
Xiang Gao, University of Washington

Although research has focused on the impact of youth employment while in high school, less attention has been paid to the responsibilities some young adults have within the household. However, children do considerable homemaking and care work within the house. What is the impact of this work on children’s subsequent development? Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 cohort, we examine housework, sibling caretaking, and subsequent adult beliefs and behavior within a sample of adolescents with younger siblings. Our evidence suggests that work done in the childhood home may have lasting significance on beliefs and roles later in life. For instance, men in their early 40s who had cared for younger siblings as teens were less likely to have children and were more likely to favor women’s employment and believe that that men should share housework.

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Presented in Session 141: Life Course Connections