There is increasing awareness that the intergenerational transmission of (dis)advantages is filtered through intra-familial dynamics, in particular parenting practices. Surprisingly, few studies have investigated what role the extent to which fathers and mothers equally share childcare responsibilities plays in this transmission. Using data from 2,027 families in a Dutch prospective cohort study, our Structural Equation Modeling-analyses showed direct effects of equally sharing responsibilities for playful activities on children’s cognitive development. Additionally, our study yielded some evidence for the hypothesis that equally sharing responsibilities for playful activities mediates the impact of parents’ educational attainment on children’s cognitive development. This suggests that the extent to which fathers and mothers equally share childcare responsibilities functions as an underlying mechanism for maintaining social class disparities in children’s cognitive development. Our findings also suggest that policies and programs that encourage fathers and mothers to equally share playful activities may help promote children’s cognitive development.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcz046, hdl.handle.net/1765/129671
Journal European Sociological Review
Citation
Keizer, R, van Lissa, C.J, Tiemeier, H.W, & Lucassen, N. (2019). The influence of fathers and mothers equally sharing childcare responsibilities on children’s cognitive development from early childhood to school age: An overlooked mechanism in the intergenerational transmission of (dis)advantages?. European Sociological Review, 36(1), 1–15. doi:10.1093/esr/jcz046