Social psychological predictors of involvement in childcare: the mediating role of changes in women's work patterns after childbirth. By: Gaunt, Ruth. Community, Work & Family. Apr2019, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p183-202. 20p.

This study sought to explore the role of couples’ social psychological characteristics in the division of childcare responsibilities. Using a longitudinal sample of 148 expecting couples, gender ideologies, attitudes toward the father role and self-enhancement values were measured during the third trimester of pregnancy. As hypothesized, prenatal gender ideologies predicted maternal and paternal involvement in childcare one year postpartum, and their effect was mediated by changes in the mothers’ work patterns following childbirth. Moreover, parents’ attitudes toward the father role predicted the father’s involvement in childcare, and the importance the parents placed on self-enhancement values predicted their own lower levels of involvement in childcare and greater involvement of their spouses. Taken together, the findings stress the importance of couples’ social psychological characteristics and suggest that they guide couples’ decisions about changes in the mother’s work hours and income, which in turn affect the division of childcare responsibilities.