Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
Health Promotion, Education and Behavior
The Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health
Katrina M. Walsemann
For this research I explored the association between men's gender attitudes and their endorsement of paternity leave policies as a way to begin to understand the determinants of men’s support of paternity leave policies. In addition, in order to understand factors that influencing paternal involvement, I examined the association between men’s gender attitudes and their actual involvement in caregiving among a sub-sample of fathers. I also explored whether men's leave-taking when their child was born mediated the association between their gender attitudes and involvement in child care. Considering the importance of national policy documents for promotion men’s participation in childcare, I also documented national policy efforts undertaken by governments of Croatia, India, and Mexico from 1995 through 2014 to increase paternal involvement. This 20-year time period was selected because it coincides with the timeframe of adoption and implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action.
I found that more egalitarian gender attitudes were positively associated with paternity leave endorsement among men in Croatia and India, regardless of their partner status. However in Mexico, I found this association only among men with stable partners. At the same time, the association between men's gender attitudes and paternity leave policy endorsement among Mexican men without stable partners was also positive, but not statistically significant. In terms of paternal involvement, I found that fathers' egalitarian gender attitudes were positively correlated with their involvement in childcare, albeit only in Croatia. Moreover, I found that fathers' leave taking when their child was born was not significantly correlated with their involvement in child care in any of the countries, thus, it could not serve as a mediator of the association between men's gender attitudes and paternal involvement.
For my policy analysis, I reviewed 33 national policy documents from Croatia, India, and Mexico. I found that from 1995 to 2014, the governments of all three countries acknowledged the importance of paternal involvement in the majority of analyzed documents. Paternal involvement was referenced in various types of policy documents including national policies, acts/laws, plans, programs. However, I found that the ways in which paternal involvement was addressed in the policy documents notably varied across countries. The majority of the policy documents from Croatia (9 of 11 policies) had the potential to affect men's involvement in childcare. At the same time, more than half of the policy documents from Mexico (9 of 13 policies) and India (7 of 9 policies) failed to recognize the importance of men in childcare work.
Thus, results of my research suggest that between 1995 and 2014, national policy documents in all three countries acknowledged the importance of paternal involvement. However, the governments of India and Mexico have been slow to implement policy efforts aimed at addressing gender disparities in child caregiving. Considering that the Sustainable Development Goals specifically focus on the recognition and value of unpaid care and domestic work, the governments of Croatia, India, and Mexico will need to take more concrete steps to promote shared responsibility for families and to shift norms and practices away from the belief that childcare is the exclusive domain and responsibility of women as mothers.
Kasymova, S.(2017). Involvement Of Men In Responsible Parenthood In Croatia, India, And Mexico: Major Factors, Correlates, And National Policy. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/4526