Time, Gender, and Distrust: Why Parents Argue about Leisure

Heather D. Hill, Northwestern University

This study uses a relatively large qualitative sample of new parents, both married and unmarried, to describe couple conflict about leisure time. Leisure is a common source of conflict that taps into fundamental and universal issues that parents face in reconciling their different responsibilities, priorities, and beliefs about parenthood. For some parents, conflict of this type is also heightened by deep-seated distrust and fear of infidelity, a largely unexplored topic in the literature. The findings provide insight into relationship issues facing unmarried and married parents and the services that will best support successful relationships and parenting practices.

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Presented in Session 150: Family Time Allocation: Parents and Children, Costs and Benefits