account arrow-down-linearrow-down-small arrow-downarrow-download arrow-left-small arrow-leftarrow-link arrow-rightarrow-upaudio-less-volume audio-not-playing audio-plus-volume audio awarded books calendar close-modal closedate document education emailevent Facebookhamburger impact instagramjustice linkedin location-outline location opinion page phonepinterestplay pluspost preview project reports search-bigsearch-old search share startime twitterwelfare youtube zoom-in zoom-out

Caregiving dads, breadwinning mums: Transforming gender in work and childcare?

Researchers: Dr Ruth Gaunt | Dr Ana Jordan ...

By Nuffield Foundation

Project overview

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 gender attitudes.

In addition to the quantitative data, 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 downplaying gender-based considerations in parenting arrangements.

The findings will inform discussions on better ways to support fathers’ caring responsibilities through workplace policies and legislation around paternity and shared parental leave. Ultimately, this project seeks to identify the means to create more balanced, fulfilling lives for both men and women.


  • Dr Ruth Gaunt
    University of Lincoln
  • Dr Ana Jordan
    University of Lincoln
  • Dr Anna Tarrant
    University of Lincoln
  • Dr Mariana Pinho
    University of Lincoln
  • Dr Emma Long
    University of Lincoln

  • Alex Beer
    Senior Consultant, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation

Explore our projects

Search projects

We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.