The Second Shift Reflected in the Second Generation: Do Parents' Gender Roles at Home Predict Children's Aspirations?

Alyssa Croft, Toni Schmader, Katharina Block, Andrew Scott Baron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gender inequality at home continues to constrain gender equality at work. How do the gender disparities in domestic labor that children observe between their parents predict those children's visions for their future roles? The present research examined how parents' behaviors and implicit associations concerning domestic roles, over and above their explicit beliefs, predict their children's future aspirations. Data from 326 children aged 7 to 13 years revealed that mothers' explicit beliefs about domestic gender roles predicted the beliefs held by their children. In addition, when fathers enacted or espoused a more egalitarian distribution of household labor, their daughters in particular expressed a greater interest in working outside the home and having a less stereotypical occupation. Fathers' implicit gender-role associations also uniquely predicted daughters' (but not sons') occupational preferences. These findings suggest that a more balanced division of household labor between parents might promote greater workforce equality in future generations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1418-1428
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Science
Volume25
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • child development
  • role taking
  • sex-role attitudes
  • social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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