Women remain more adept at multitasking than their male counterparts. From managing a range of household chores while helping their children with homework, to performing computer work while handling a phone call, women pump up the volume of productivity to keep up in their busy lives. The downside is that women experience more stress with their multitasking performance at levels that far exceed that of men who multitask.
A new study recently published in the American Sociological Review found that working moms spend 9 more hours multitasking weekly than do working dads. These women spend about 48.3 hours per week handling multiple tasks at once, while for men, the total hours spent getting various things done is just 38.9 hours.
In an interview, study co-author Barbara Schneider, a professor of sociology at Michigan State University, noted, “When you look at men and women in similar kinds of work situations they look very similar. But when they come home it is very clear that women are shouldering much more of the responsibilities of housework and childcare.”
Schneider and her colleague, Shira Offer, an assistant professor at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, analyzed data on 368 mothers and 241 fathers who took part in the 500 Family Study, which focused on how U.S. families balance work and family life.
The research is based on responses from dual-income families, considered by the researchers to represent the most time-pressured sector of the nation’s population. These couples generally possess college degrees, have professional occupations, report higher earnings, and work longer hours than middle-class families in other nationally representative samples.
The findings of the study revealed that for working mothers, 52.7 percent of multitasking performed involved housework, while for working fathers, only 42.2 percent was spend on household chores. In addition, the study showed that mothers spent 35.5 percent of time performing multiple tasks involving childcare, while for fathers the numbers came to 27.9 percent. Moreover, the study showed that various tasks performed by women at the same time while at home prove to be more labor intensive than those performed by men.Multitasking is a Stress Inducer – Page 2