Families, Relationships and Societies
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Paid parental leave and fathers’ involvement: capturing fathers’ gender beliefs and fathering perceptions

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  • 1 German Youth Institute, Germany
  • | 2 University of Tübingen, Germany
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This study examines how multidimensional gender and fathering beliefs of fathers may explain their relative involvement in childcare after considering paid leave uptake. We draw on cross-sectional survey data from one German state, which allow us to distinguish three belief dimensions: (1) gender traditionalism and essentialism, (2) fathering attitudes, and (3) fathering self-concepts and self-efficacy. By means of multiple linear regression models we investigate how the different dimensions of gender and fatherhood beliefs relate to fathers’ relative involvement in basic and indirect childcare tasks. Our results show that gender (essentialist) ideologies and fatherhood attitudes were strongly associated with fathers’ relative involvement in both childcare domains. The higher fathers perceived self-efficacy in fathering, the more involved they were in basic but not indirect care. All belief dimensions mediated the positive association of fathers’ uptake of paid leave with their involvement in basic childcare.

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