Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Moms Multitask More Than Dads, But They Don't Like It

A study in the American Sociological Review found that working moms multitask more than dads, and that all that doing-five-things-at-the-same-time is stressing them out.

Here's the abstract:

"This study suggests that multitasking constitutes an important source of gender inequality, which can help explain previous findings that mothers feel more burdened and stressed than do fathers even when they have relatively similar workloads. Using data from the 500 Family Study, including surveys and the Experience Sampling Method, the study examines activities parents simultaneously engage in and how they feel when multitasking. We find that mothers spend 10 more hours a week multitasking compared to fathers and that these additional hours are mainly related to time spent on housework and childcare. For mothers, multitasking activities at home and in public are associated with an increase in negative emotions, stress, psychological distress, and work-family conflict. By contrast, fathers’ multitasking at home involves less housework and childcare and is not a negative experience. We also find several similarities by gender. Mothers’ and fathers’ multitasking in the company of a spouse or children are positive experiences, whereas multitasking at work, although associated with an increased sense of productivity, is perceived as a negative experience."

You can read the entire study, "Revisiting the Gender Gap in Time-Use Patterns: Multitasking and Well-Being among Mothers and Fathers in Dual-Earner Families" here.