Hands-on dads have more satisfying relationships with their children

Hands-on dads have more satisfying relationships with their children

Facts Sheet— September 2016
Hands-on dads have more satisfying relationships with their children

Key messages

Australian fathers who spend more time on child care are the most satisfied with their relationships with their children

When fathers are more satisfied with the relationship they have with their partner or their parents, they are considerably more satisfied with the bonds they have with their kids

Fathers with children under 15 years old spend an average of 13 hours a week on child  care (much less than mothers who spend an average of 28 hours)

Fathers of pre-schoolers who are completely satisfied with their relationship with their children spend an average of 18 hours per week caring for their children. The least satisfied dads with the same-aged children spent an average of 10 hours per week caring for them

Overall, fathers tend to be most satisfied with the relationship with their children when they are younger, before the youngest enters the teen years

When children live at least part of the time in another house due to parents’ separation, fathers spend less time on child care – those fathers are also less satisfied with their relationship with their children

Fathers with more children spend less time on general child care such as playing with children, helping with their personal care, coaching or taking them to school

Having more children equates to fathers putting more time into housework than hands-on child care

Authors and Acknowledgements

Compiled by Dr Jenny Baxter, Australian Institute of Family Studies, drawing on data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics (HILDA) survey.

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Publication details

Facts Sheet
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, September 2016.

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