Change in values and beliefs on child care

Norbert S. Neuwirth, Austrian Institute for Family Studies

In most European countries substantial changes in mothers’ employment patterns, rising demand for institutional child care, and even some increase in fathers’ participation in child care as well as in household production can be observed over the last decades. These shifts in market and care participation are accompanied by changes in personal values and beliefs on gender roles, children’s needs and the responsibility of the state respectively the families for early childhood education and care. Typically young adults tend to higher gender equity and a more active role of the state regarding child care. On the other side, with progression to first birth we often observe a “re-traditionalisation” of activities. Household chores are reallocated to young mothers, fathers intensify their market work, and infant care continues to remain mainly on mothers’ side. Especially within this critical life event, ‘doing gender’ seems to reassure traditional gender roles. This poster shows some quite different paths in the change of personal values and beliefs in the context of child care over a group of selected European countries, using data form the European Value Survey (EVS) respectively the Interantional Social Survey Programme (ISSP). In addition, the Austrian Generations and Gender Programme (GGP) is used to show the change in selected items on personal attitudes for Austrians who had no child in GGS wave1 and had become parents until GGS wave2. The panel design of the GGP assures to observe real short termed changes in personal attitudes, while within EVS and ISSP long term general trends are capable.

Presented in Poster Session 2