Faculty and Staff Research

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    Study on U.S. Parents’ Divisions of Labor During COVID-19: Wave 2
    (2022-11) Carlson, Daniel L.; Petts, Richard J.
    The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered family life in the United States. Over the long duration of the pandemic, parents had to adapt to shifting work conditions, virtual schooling, the closure of daycare facilities, and the stress of not only managing households without domestic and care supports but also worrying that family members may contract the novel coronavirus. Reports early in the pandemic suggest that these burdens have fallen disproportionately on mothers, creating concerns about the long-term implications of the pandemic for gender inequality and mothers’ well-being. Nevertheless, less is known about how parents’ engagement in domestic labor and paid work has changed throughout the pandemic, what factors may be driving these changes, and what the long-term consequences of the pandemic may be for the gendered division of labor and gender inequality more generally.
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    The Forms and Uses of Undergraduate Student Game Design Logs
    (2013-10-13) Gestwicki, Paul; Coy, Jennifer; Largent, David
    Design logs provide a way for designers to articulate their goals, track their progress, and record decisions. College students in an introductory game design course were assigned to keep design logs during a multi-week, community-engaged tabletop game design project. The research team analyzed the students’ design logs and the designer’s statements of their final projects in order to understand how students engaged with these writing practices and what impact these had on their work. The design logs varied significantly from each other and from the recommendations. The form of the logs can be described along three dimensions: multimodality, composition style, and document structure. We identified seven categories of use, only four of which came from the provided recommendations. Despite their idiosyncrasies, the logs and reflections demonstrate that students learned to follow a rigorous, iterative design process.
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    Cross-national Attitudes about Paid Parental Leave Offerings for Fathers
    (2021-05) Li, Qi; Knoester, Chris; Petts, Richard J.
    Using cross-national data from the 2012 International Social Survey Programme (N = 33,273), this study considers institutional, self-interest, and ideational factors in analyzing public opinions about the provision, length, and source of paid parental leave offerings for fathers. We find substantial support for generous leave offerings. Multilevel regression results reveal that being a woman, supporting dual-earning expectations, and realizing more family strains lead to support for more generous leave offerings. Endorsing separate spheres and intensive mothering attitudes reduces support for more generous leave offerings; although, gendered attitudes interact with one another in predicting leave preferences, too. Finally, country-level indicators of female empowerment and father-specific leave offerings are positively associated with preferences for more generous leave offerings. Overall, public opinions about fathers’ leave offerings across OECD countries largely support policies that provide opportunities for more involved fathering, but preferences continue to be gendered and linked to family strains and country-level contexts.
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    Paternity Leave, Father Involvement, and Parental Conflict: The Moderating Role of Religious Participation
    (2018-09-22) Petts, Richard J.
    Numerous studies show that taking paternity leave is associated with increased father involvement. However, fewer studies have explored contextual factors that may increase (or diminish) the likelihood that paternity leave-taking provides benefits to families. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, this study examines the associations between paternity leave, fathers’ religious participation, father involvement, and parental conflict, and whether fathers’ religious participation moderates the associations between paternity leave, father involvement, and parental conflict. Results suggest that paternity leave-taking, length of paternity leave, and fathers’ religious participation are associated with increased father involvement but are unrelated to parental conflict. Results also suggest that religious participation may enhance the association between paternity leave and family outcomes; paternity leave-taking and length of paternity leave are only associated with lower levels of parental conflict among families in which fathers attend religious services frequently. Moreover, fathers who take leave and attend religious services frequently are more likely to be involved with their child than fathers who take leave but do not attend religious services.
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    Parental Religiosity, Religious Homogamy, and Young Children's Well-Being
    (2011-07-13) Petts, Richard J.
    Using longitudinal data on fragile families, this study examines the relationships between parents’ religiosity, religious homogamy, and young children's well-being, and whether these relationships vary by family structure. Results suggest that weekly service attendance by both parents is associated with lower externalizing problem behavior among young children. Results also suggest that being raised by a mother who believes that religion is important to family life is associated with higher well-being among young children raised by married parents. In contrast, having only one parent who believes religion is important to family life is associated with lower well-being among children raised in cohabiting or single-parent families. Moreover, having parents with strict religious beliefs is associated with increased internalizing problem behavior, but is also associated with a decrease in externalizing problem behavior for children raised by cohabiting parents. Overall, this study contributes to our understanding of the role of religion within fragile families, as well as the role that religion may play in early child development.