Shared family time : an analysis in two-parent, two-child Oregon households Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9306t161d

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  • In this study patterns of shared family time in 210 two-parent, two-child Oregon households were described. The relationship between amounts of shared time and a number of family and environmental characteristics was also researched. The study used the Oregon data from a contributing project of the Northeast Regional Research Project NE 113, an Interstate Urban/Rural Comparison of Families' Time Use. A sample of 210 families divided into five groups by age of the youngest child was drawn. Half the families were classified as urban and half as rural. The mean age of the homemakers and their spouses was approximately 32 years. About 72 percent of the homemakers were not employed outside the home. However, about 80 percent of the spouses reported working 40 or more weekly hours. Families recorded the time use of members over the age of six for two charted 24-hour periods. The second recording day was used to analyze the incidence of shared time. The number of shared time episodes recorded by the families for one day ranged from zero to 15, with a mean of 3.5 daily episodes. The amounts of daily shared time ranged from zero to 1,140 minutes (19 hours). About 19 percent of the families reported no shared time. The most common group of family members participating in shared activity was both parents. The whole family was reported as participants in 13 percent of the shared episodes. For shared time episodes not involving both parents, participation between the homemaker and children was more evident than that between the spouse and children. Nonwork activities accounted for the greater proportion of shared family time episodes. One-third of the episodes were spent in eating together and over one-fourth in social and recreational pursuits. About 18 percent of shared episodes were reported as household work activities, with shopping the task area most commonly shared. Care of family members accounted for 15 percent of the shared episodes reported. The home was the common site for shared activity with threefourths of the shared time episodes occurring in that setting. About 22 percent of the episodes were shared away from the home, work or school environments. More time was shared by family members on weekend days than on weekdays. While the mean amount of shared time for weekend days rose nearly 80 minutes above a daily average of 180 minutes, the mean time shared on weekdays fell 25 minutes below the average. In a regression model with twelve variables, day of the week and age of the homemaker showed significant positive relationships to amounts of shared time at the .05 level. Amounts of shared time tended to increase with the occurrence of weekend days. Shared time also tended to increase in this model as homemakers became older. In a model specifying the .05 significance level for the inclusion of variables, day of the week had a positive effect on amounts of shared time. It appeared that the larger blocks of weekend time facilitated the scheduling of shared activities. In consideration of this finding, the scheduling of hours at work may have been one factor in the degree to which employment acted as a constraint to shared family time. When using the significance level of .10, residence had a significant negative effect on shared time. Families living in rural environments tended to have reduced amounts of shared time compared to urban families. Given the findings regarding the day of week, it was suggested that demands on weekend time use which were absent in an urban setting could be operating in rural families. The independent variables in the regression models accounted for between five and 13 percent of the variation in amounts of shared family time.
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