Quality-Adjusted Gaps in Parental Time with Children

Katie Vinopal, American University
Seth Gershenson, American University

Parental involvement is thought to influence children’s cognitive and social development as well as important long-run socioeconomic outcomes. Numerous studies document differences by socioeconomic status (SES) in parental time with children, which may contribute to observed SES gaps in children’s socioeconomic outcomes. However, the existing literature largely examines the total time parents spend interacting with children, despite the fact that the quality of such interactions likely varies by SES as well. We begin to fill this gap in the literature by using time-use data from the 2003-2012 waves of the American Time Use Survey to test for differences by SES in two types of quality-adjusted parental time with children: “joint time” with both parents and “solo time” when no siblings are present. Preliminary results suggest that SES-based gaps in parental time with children are significantly larger when the quality of such time is considered.

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Presented in Poster Session 9: Children and Youth; Data and Methods