Family strategies for reconciling parental responsibilities and work: the case of Navarra (Spain)

Dolores Lopez, University of Navarra
Carolina Montoro, University of Navarra
Nuria Del Olmo, University of Navarra

Since the seventies of the last century, one of the greatest transformations experienced by the Spanish family has been the transition from a predominantly family model, based on gender-differentiated roles, to a different model characterised by the incorporation of women into the labour market, bringing with it a certain merging of gender-specific chores. This transformation, together with others, such as the decline in large families and increasing labour mobility, has generated profound changes in the family organisation after the birth of the first child. Our objective is to analyse whether the different strategies for reconciliating family life and paid work in Navarra homes do in fact influence family fertility levels. The target population for our study are those families that have received some type of family support aid from the Government of Navarra. Through the Survey: “Between nappies and the office” carried out on 1040 women (3% sampling error) in 2004, we have obtained some valuable information that has allowed us to analyse the different conciliation strategies, taking both parents into account. The profile for these families is one of a young couple (the mother’s average age is 34.5 years), for the most part married (90.4%), with at least one child under four, a high fertility level (average number of children 2.9), and in which the mother works outside the home (74.6%). The methodology applied is the multivariate analysis (logistic regression technique). This method enables us to determine, on the one hand, which are the most “successful” strategies and, on the other hand, whether the said reconciliation strategies do in fact determine fertility levels or whether, to the contrary, this is determined by other more socio-cultural variables (for example, the number of children desired or the generational family model).

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Presented in Session 21: Parenting and child-care