My dissertation research examines the role working during the evening plays in shaping parents’ time with children. The dissertation has four broad parts: a theory of the social order of time in modern life; an examination of how to measure evening work; an examination of how the location where evening work is done (at home or away from home) affects time with children in the evening and across the day; and if patterns of daily work schedules predict patterns of time with children. Below I provide links to small portions of this research and the code used to program it in Stata and R, using the 2003-2010
To start the dissertation, I propose a theory of social time. I start by defining how society usually uses different times of day, and I then analyze the opportunity costs to interaction outside of work in different work scenarios. Finally, I provide a typology of daily scheduling that can be operationalized in research.
Draft theory chapter, please only cite with permission: Paper.
Measuring evening work:
In this section I show that a direct measure of evening work is distinct from, and is more a more useful measure, than the traditional definition of the overall “shift” worked by an individual. While the shift measure relies on characterizing the entire work day based on when the majority of work is done (Day, Evening, or Night), measuring evening work directly allows for a better measure of work during times socially set aside for family time.
I won a poster prize for my research on evening work, time with family, and time in leisure at the 2011 Population Association of America Meetings: Poster.
A more recent version of the paper is here: paper.
The Location of Evening Work
The results for the effects of evening work on time with family have historically been somewhat unclear. I show in the previous part of my dissertation that part of the problem is the lack of a high quality measure of evening work. In this part of the dissertation I show another issue is the location of evening work. Evening work away from home is the domain of lower educated workers, but highly educated workers can work from home. Individuals working at home in the evenings show a smaller gap in time with children in the evening, and no discernable difference in the amount of time they spend with children across the entire day.
Links Between Work and Child Care Schedules
The final part of my dissertation paper uses sequence analysis techniques to examine work and care schedules across the entire day. In this paper I use a dissimilarity matrix as the basis for a cluster analysis that groups work and care schedules for parents with children under age 13 in the USA. This analysis is the first use of these techniques on American data, and the first known case of categorizing childcare schedules. In this section I find that evening work often occurs in what can be classified as day shifts, long day shifts, and evening shifts. Childcare, on the other hand, continues to group in the mornings and evenings. This section will finish with an analysis of predictors of childcare schedules, including work and demographic factors.
Code Samples are here.