Caregiving dads, breadwinning mums: Creating gender equality in the home

This mixed methods study investigates opposite-sex couples who share childcare equally or reverse roles so that the father is the primary caregiver. Comparing these couples with traditional couples, the project will explore what exactly their work and care arrangements look like, and what effects these arrangements have on their well-being and relationship satisfaction.

A new survey questionnaire will be distributed online to collect quantitative data on time investment and the allocation of tasks from samples of mothers and fathers of young children with either traditional family roles (male breadwinner, female caregiver), reversed roles (male caregiver, female breadwinner), or equal sharing arrangements. A novel aspect of the research is the consideration of the socio-psychological processes that may contribute to a decision to adopt non-gendered arrangements – for example, the survey will also measure respondents’ identities, ideologies, and implicit attitudes to gender, parenting and work.

Ten couples from each of the three sample groups will be recruited for an in-depth face-to-face interview, with the partners interviewed separately. Interviews will more fully uncover the complex dynamics involved in the construction and maintenance of different work and care arrangements, and further explore the facilitators and barriers to greater gender equality between parents.

The study’s findings will be relevant to discussions around the benefits and challenges of involved fatherhood - for all parents - and will also have the potential to inform the design of relationship education programmes.

Project Details


Dr Ruth Gaunt
and Dr Anna Tarrant, University of Lincoln


Grant amount and duration
£173,510 over 30 months

September 2019 – February 2022