Duet or Solo? An Analysis of Paternal Involvement in Childcare in Korea by Couples’ Co-Participation Perspective

Eunhye Kang

childcare; solo care time; Korean fathers; time-use

This paper examines father involvement in childcare from the perspective of couples’ co-participation in care tasks and factors associated with fathers’ childcare time performed by fathers alone. Drawing on the Korean Time Use Survey 2014, and a sample of dual-earner parents with preschool aged children, results show that the time spent in childcare alone by the father was considerably less than that of mothers. About 80% of mothers’ total childcare time was performed alone compared with 59.5% for fathers. For routine care, about 64.8% of fathers’ routine care time was performed alone by fathers. OLS regression results indicate that work hours of both mothers and fathers primarily shape the context in which fathers’ sole charge of care tasks occur. The egalitarian gender role attitude fathers hold was found to be another significant determinant of the total amount of time fathers spent on performing care tasks alone and the amount of time fathers spent on performing routine care tasks alone. Level of fathers’ educational attainment did not make differences to their solo care time.