Source: Science News
Time is a limited resource. So, it’s not entirely astonishing that after decades of ramping up time spent on parenting, some well-educated mothers appear to have run out of additional minutes. Meanwhile, some less-educated moms have continued cumulative their own parenting hours, a new study finds.
As a result, a long-standing, class-related gap in mothers’ parenting time has contracted, researchers report in the June 1 Demography. Specifically, the gap in time spent parenting between college-educated mothers versus mothers without a high school degree shrank by 57 percent, on average — from 44 minutes per day in the early 2000s to 19 minutes per day in the late 2010s.
“Intensive parenting is no longer a middle-class wonder. It’s diffused across all groups,” says sociologist Jennifer Augustine of the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
Time-intensive parenting seems to stem from disparity, or parents’ fears that their children will fall behind their peers absent such an approach, says Patrick Ishizuka, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri, who was not involved in the new research. Ishizuka showed in the September 2019 Social Forces that parents across the socioeconomic range consider deep investment in children the parenting ideal.
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