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July 2010 RNR

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Below is the newest installation of Research News Reporter (RNR) Online. Previous editions can be viewed in the Archives.

 

July 2010

IWPR’s Research News Reporter is distributed to highlight informative, innovative, and sometimes controversial research related to women and their families.

Research Making the News

  1. “The New Dad is More Than Just a Breadwinner”
  2. “Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Idea”

Research Reports

  1. Child Care Support for Student Parents in Community College is Crucial for Success, but Supply and Funding are Inadequate
  2. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009: Current Status and Emerging Issues
  3. Childlessness Up Among All Women; Down Among Women With Advanced Degrees
  4. Spousal Health Shocks and the Timing of the Retirement Decision in the Face of Forward-Looking Financial Incentives

Research Making News

Each selection includes a short excerpt, link to the news article, and link to the research cited:

1. “The New Dad is More Than Just a Breadwinner”

By Cindy Krischer Goodman
Miami Herald
June 15, 2010

Citing: The New Dad: Exploring Fatherhood Within a Career Context by Prof. Brad Harrington and Fred Van Deusen, Boston College; and Prof. Jamie Ladge, Northeastern University

“[…]Just in time for Father's Day, a new report shows dads… are dramatically feeling the pull between work and family. Indeed, men reported their levels of work-life conflict have risen significantly over the past three decades, while the level of conflict reported by women has not changed much.

The recession only has added to the pull: Fathers are worried about finances and feeling intense pressure to perform at work. At the same time, expectations are higher than ever at home to be full partners in child rearing.
Fathers are struggling with too many hours at work or not enough hours. They are fighting debt, fearful of losing their jobs and experiencing the intense desire to bond with and guide their children.

`A profound shift is taking place with today's new dads,' says Brad Harrington, co-author of The New Dad: Exploring Fatherhood Within a Career Context, released this week. `Men have redefined `good father' from breadwinner to role model, friend, mentor.' […]

Harrington's research of new fathers found a strong cultural perception that when men become dads, little will change at work. The roles fathers play at home are still underappreciated in the workplace. Corporations do not recognize that fatherhood is a taxing role, Harrington said.

`It was an eye opener for us, looking at fatherhood from a workplace lens. [Employers] did not expect fathers to make compromises in their work day or work choices.'

These new dads, on the other hand, said fatherhood enhanced their reputations and creditability at work.
This is in sharp contrast to new mothers, who experienced negative messages in returning to the workplace. […]

Going forward, there's a lot of optimism that work/life balance will ease for fathers. The young new fathers in Harrington's study said they were using informal flexibility at work, rather than the formal flexibility many mothers use. They said their immediate managers, as opposed to top executives, were from dual career households, too, and were quite supportive of the work-life challenges they faced.

`Work-family conflict applies equally to both genders,' Harrington says. `Is the country ripe for this conversation?'”

To read the full article, click here. To download a free copy of the report, click here. To learn more about the Boston College Center for Work and Family visit their website.

2. “Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Idea”

By Diane Stafford
Kansas City Star
June 18, 2010

Citing: More Men to Benefit From Expanded Coverage Under Health Reform by Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., Ashley English; Institute for Women’s Policy Research; and John Schmitt, Hye Jin Rho, Center for Economic and Policy Research

“Still trying to figure out what to get Dad for Father’s Day?

How about a health insurance policy.

A study released this week by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research finds that one in five men ages 18-64 — about 21.2 million — have no health insurance.
That compares to 17.2 million uninsured women in the same age range.

Among married men ages 26-34, 18.4 percent lack health insurance, which can be a serious problem for families if the father is the bread winner, said Heidi Hartmann, president of the women’s research institute.
The report said three in ten men aged 18-34 are uninsured.

For both men and women, unmarried adults under age 65 are much more likely to be uninsured than married people of the same age, according to the study.”

To read the full article, click here. To download a free copy of the factsheet, click here. To learn more about the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, visit our website, and to learn more about the Center for Economic and Policy Research, click here.

Research Reports

Each selection includes a short excerpt from the research and a link to the report:

1. Child Care Support for Student Parents in Community College is Crucial for Succcess, but Supply and Funding are Inadequate

Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Kevin Miller, Ph.D.
June 2010

“Of the over 6 million students earning college credit at community colleges, 1.7 million (27 percent) are parents. Of those, about 1 million (16 percent) are single parents, more than twice the proportion at 4-year institutions. Three-quarters of single parents in college are women. […] One study of student parents attending community college found that over 80 percent reported that the availability of child care was very important in the decision to attend college and 46 percent reported that campus child care was their first priority when enrolling. Nearly 60 percent of respondents reported they could not have continued college without child care and 95 percent reported that child care allowed them to increase their class load. […] A survey of campus children’s centers found that 90 percent of centers maintain waiting lists; the average center serves 110 children per week but has another 90 children on its waiting list. Less than half of centers (48 percent) offer care for infants under a year of age, only 13 percent of centers provide evening care, and only 3 percent of centers provide care on weekends.

To download a free PDF of the fact sheet, click here. To learn more about the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, visit our website.

2. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009: Current Status and Emerging Issues

National Women’s Law Center
June 1, 2010

“On January 29, 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.
The Act overturned the disastrous Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which had severely limited workers’ ability to vindicate their rights under federalanti-discrimination laws when they were subjected to unlawful pay discrimination. In Ledbetter,the Court held that employers could not be sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964for pay discrimination if the employer’s original discriminatory pay decision had occurred morethan 180 days in the past. This decision upset longstanding precedent under Title VII and othercivil rights statutes, and posed a great hardship for plaintiffs since pay discrimination is often notimmediately apparent, making it difficult for employees to know how their compensationcompares to that of their colleagues. […] While the targeted steps taken in the Ledbetter Act are important, they only restored the protection against pay discrimination stripped away by the Ledbetter decision. More is necessary both to strengthen equal pay laws, which have been weakened over time by courts, and to require the federal government to be more proactive in preventing and battling wage discrimination. For example, the Paycheck Fairness Act, passed by the House in January 2009 and pending in the Senate, would update the Equal Pay Act and close the judicially created loopholes that have undermined its enforcement.”

To access a free PDF of the paper, click here.  To learn more about the National Women’s Law Center, visit their website.

3. Childlessness Up Among All Women; Down Among Women With Advanced Degrees

Pew Research Center
Gretchen Livingston and D’Vera Cohn
June 25, 2010
“Nearly one-in-five American women ends her childbearing years without having borne a child, compared with one-in-ten in the 1970s. While childlessness has risen for all racial and ethnic groups, and most education levels, it has fallen over the past decade for women with advanced degrees. The most educated women still are among the most likely never to have had a child. But in a notable exception to the overall rising trend, in 2008, 24% of women ages 40-44 with a master's, doctoral or professional degree had not had children, a decline from 31% in 1994.”

To access a free pdf of the report, click here.  To learn more about the Pew Research Center, visit their website.

4. Spousal Health Shocks and the Timing of the Retirement Decision in the Face of Forward-Looking Financial Incentives

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
Courtney Harold Van Houtven and Norma B. Coe
June 2010

“A long and still growing strand of the retirement literature examines the role financial incentives play in the timing of the retirement decision. A more recent second strand of work has focused on the role of health shocks in the retirement decision. This paper combines these two components of the literature in order to measure the marginal impact of current wealth (including pension accrual), forward-looking financial incentives (peak-value pension wealth), and health shocks on married individuals’ retirement decision. This paper helps to clarify whether previously omitted forward-looking financial incentives can explain the strong role attributed to health shocks in the retirement decisions of coupled individuals. We find that financial incentives are the most important determinant of retirement behavior empirically. A husband is about half as responsive to his wife’s financial incentives as he is to his own. Interestingly, we find that married men are responsive to their wives’ health shocks, on both the intensive and extensive margin, but find wives’ decisions concerning work are largely unaffected by their husbands’ health shocks.”

To access a free PDF of the report, click here.  To learn more about the Center for Retirement Research, visit their website.

 

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