Despite the fact that Florida divorces are much more common than they have been in previous decades, there is also good reason to say that, statistically, families are stronger today than they have been for a very long time. Why? Because mothers and fathers are spending more time with their kids than in previous generations. And, incidentally, the divorce rate has at least stopped increasing.
A recent study from the University of San Diego called “The Rug Rat Race,” by Garry and Valerie A. Ramey, examined the statistics of how much time parents are spending with children.
The study found that college-educated parents are spending more time overall with their children than parents without college. College-educated mothers increased hours spent with childrent to 21.2 hours in 2007, from just 12 hours in 1995.
Fathers with college education doubled time with the kids: from 4.5 hours to 9.6 hours during the same years. The number for parents without college were: mothers – 10.2 hours to 15.9 hours, and fathers – 4 hours to 8 hours.
The discrepancies between college-educated mothers and those without college was not due to the non-college mothers working more hours. The study found both groups averaged 25 hours of work per week. What the study concluded was that there was more sharing of housework in college-educated households, and this gave the mothers in that group more time to spend with the children. (Sharing of housework was up in both groups, but moreso in the college-educated segment.)
Another theory put forward by the study is that the college-educated parents are putting in more time preparing their children for college. There was more time spent with older kids than younger ones, which would support this theory.
The study looked at time spent together, not just time in the same building, which accounts for increases since 1965, despite the fact that more mothers were at home with children in the 1960s.