Publications by CTUR Members

Jagriti Tanwar, Susana Pasamar, Karen Johnston
Published: 2 March 2020

This paper aims to further the understanding about the relationship between work–life conflict and possible barriers to career progression due to the perception of anticipated work–life conflict, considering the unbounded nature of academic work through features such as its intensity, flexibility and perception of organizational support. The model was tested using survey data from academics in a public university in the south of Spain. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses. The results reveal that current work–life conflict, job intensity and perception of support have a direct effect on the anticipation of work–life conflict in the event of progression in academic careers. The flexibility that academics enjoy is not sufficient to prevent the expected conflict. Academics' age is relevant, but gender or having childcare responsibilities have no significant effect of the anticipation of conflict. This study addresses the gap in the literature on anticipated work–life conflict, expanding the focus to nonfamily commitments in unbounded jobs such as academic posts. The authors are not aware of any other study that focuses on the anticipation of work–life conflict in the case of career advancement among current employees with professional experience or accurate knowledge of what job they will be doing instead of students. Work–life balance should not be restricted to women with caring responsibilities, as conflict is no longer only related to gender roles. This paper not only explores existing work–life conflict but also empirically analyzes anticipated work–life conflict in unbounded careers such as academia. It represents a significant contribution in an underresearched field and may lead to future research in other settings. 

Jonathan Gershuny, Michael Bittman, Andrew Cleary
BMC Public Health
Published: 3 June 2019

Over the last 150 years, advanced economies have seen the burden of disease shift to non-communicable diseases. The risk factors for these diseases are often co-morbidities associated with unhealthy weight. The prevalence of overweight/obesity among adults in the advanced countries of the English-speaking world is currently more than two-thirds of the adult population. However, while much attention has concentrated on changes in diet that might have provoked this rapid increase in unhealthy weight, changes in patterns of eating have received little attention.

Adrian E Bauman., Michael Bittman, Jonathan Gershuny
BMC Public Health
Published: 3 June 2019

This paper is a narrative review examining the history of time use research, and the potential uses of TU data for public health research. The history of TUR started in studies of the labour force and patterns of work in the late 19th and early twentieth century, but has more recently been applied to examining health issues. Initial studies had a more economic purpose but over recent decades, TU data have been used to describe the distribution and correlates of health-enhancing patterns of human time use. These studies require large multi-country population data sets, such as the harmonised Multinational Time Use Study hosted at the University of Oxford. TU data are used in physical activity research, as they provide information across the 24-h day, that can be examined as time spent sleeping, sitting/standing/light activity, and time spent in moderate-vigorous activities. TU data are also used for sleep research, examining eating and dietary patterns, exploring geographic distributions in time use behaviours, examining mental health and subjective wellbeing, and examining these data over time. The key methodological challenge has been the development of harmonised methods, so population TU data sets can be compared within and between-countries and over time.

Sleep differences in the UK between 1974 and 2015: Insights From Detailed Time Diaries
Published: 10 September 2018

Juana Lamote de Grignon Pérez, Jonathan Gershuny, Russell Foster, Maarten De Vos, Journal of Sleep Research, 2018 September 10 : e12753  DOI: 10.1111/jsr.12753
It is often stated that sleep deprivation is on the rise, with work suggested as a main cause. However, the evidence for increasing sleep deprivation comes from surveys using habitual sleep questions. An alternative source of information regarding sleep behaviour is time-use studies. This paper investigates changes in sleep time in the UK using the two British time-use studies that allow measuring "time in bed not asleep" separately from "actual sleep time". Based upon the studies presented here, people in the UK sleep today 43 min more than they did in the 1970s because they go to bed earlier (~30 min) and they wake up later (~15 min). The change in sleep duration is driven by night sleep and it is homogeneously distributed across the week. The former results apply to men and women alike, and to individuals of all ages and employment status, including employed individuals, the presumed major victims of the sleep deprivation epidemic and the 24/7 society. In fact, employed individuals have experienced a reduction in short sleeping of almost 4 percentage points, from 14.9% to 11.0%. There has also been a reduction of 15 percentage points in the amount of conflict between workers work time and their sleep time, as measured by the proportion of workers that do some work within their "ideal sleep window" (as defined by their own chronotype).


Oriel Sullivan, Jonathan Gershuny, John P Robinson
Journal of Family Theory and Review
Published: 1 March 2018

Recently much attention has been focused on whether the gender transformation of paid and unpaid work in society referred to as the gender revolution has hit a wall, or at least stalled. In this article, we discuss key trends in the gender division of labor across 13 developed countries over a 50-year period. These trends show little decisive evidence for a stall but rather a continuing, if uneven, long-term trend in the direction of greater gender equality. We set out a theoretical framework for understanding slow change in the division of unpaid work and care (lagged generational change). We argue that, through a long-term view of the processes of change, this framework can help address why progress in the convergence in paid and unpaid work promised by the gender revolution has been so slow.

Jonathan Gershuny, Oriel Sullivan
Published: 1 February 2018

Using time diary evidence on change in the frequency and distribution of activities from UK time diary data over the 15 years from the turn of the 21st century, we assess whether the thesis of the speed-up society' is manifested in an increase in time intensity in people's daily lives. Comparing indictors like time fragmentation, multitasking and ICT use, to respondents' reports of how rushed they normally feel, we find no evidence that time pressure is increasing, or that ICT use is associated with greater feelings of time pressure. Rather, we find consistent cross-sectional differentials in our measures of time intensity by gender and occupational status, supporting the idea of relative stasis in the underlying social inequalities of time. These findings are consistent with previous research based on time use data, and we pose them as a challenge to theories of societal speed-up.

Jef Deyaert, Teresa Harms, Djiwo Weenas, Jonathan Gershuny, Ignace Glorieux
BMC Public Health
Published: 3 July 2017

Traditionally, time-use data have been used to inform a broad range of economic and sociological research topics. One of the new areas in time-use research is the study of physical activity (PA) and physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE). Time-use data can be used to study PAEE by assigning MET values to daily activities using the Ainsworth Compendium of Physical Activities. Although most diarists record their daily activities accurately and in detail, they are only required to record their paid working hours, not the job-specific tasks they undertake. This makes it difficult to assign MET values to paid work episodes. 

In this methodological paper, we explain how we addressed this problem by using the detailed information about respondents' occupational status included in time-use survey household and individual questionnaires. We used the 2008 ISCO manual, a lexicon of the International Labour Organization of occupational titles and their related job-specific tasks. We first assigned a MET value to job-specific tasks using the Ainsworth compendium (2011) then calculated MET values for each of the 436 occupations in the ISCO-08 manual by averaging all job-specific MET values for each occupation. 

Teresa Harms, Jonathan Gershuny
Social Forces
Published: 1 December 2016

Based on her analysis of published tables from US homemakers' 1924-32 week-long time use diaries collected by the US Department of Agriculture, Vanek (1974) concluded that housework time had not declined over the previous half-century-despite the diffusion of many "time-saving" home technologies. Although frequently challenged, this claim still survives in parts of the sociological literature; we use newly available evidence to refute it. Analysis of the original USDA diaries (many of which have now been recovered from the US National Archives), alongside more recent diary microdata from the American Heritage Time Use Study, reveals a pair of clear and contrary trends: a continuing decline in women's core housework (cooking and cleaning), partially offset by an increase of time in childcare and shopping. Names and addresses attached to the original diaries allow the identification of more than 93 percent of the USDA diarists in one or both of the 1920 and 1930 US Federal Censuses. Analysis (Oaxaca decomposition) of the household-and individual-level information from this source shows that most of the historical time shifts result not from changes in family demography or women's growing attachment to paid work over this period but from "behavioral" change, reflecting in part the spread of labor-saving domestic technology.

Oriel Sullivan, Jonathan Gershuny
European Sociological Review
Published: 1 December 2016

We bring a novel, longitudinal, perspective to an ongoing series of influential papers that investigates the relationship between housework, marital bargaining, and spousal resources. For the first time, we believe, in this long debate, we combine a longitudinal perspective with a measure of resources-human capital-that provides an indicator of the likely economic bargaining power of the non-employed, thereby enabling their inclusion in analysis. We use longitudinal fixed-effects models to address the relationship between housework hours and spousal resources based on yearly couples' data from the nationally representative British Household Panel Study (N = 6,541 couples). Using the measure of human capital, we find change in wives' own human capital to be the most important factor determining housework for both spouses, and no evidence for gender deviance neutralization. We conclude it is women's resources that are the critical determining factor in bargaining over housework.

A Mixed-Mode Approach to Measuring Young Peoples’ Time Use in the UK Millennium Cohort Study
Kimberly Fisher, Stella Chatzitheochari, Emily Gilbert, Lisa Calderwood, Emla Fitzsimons, Andrew Cleary, Tom Huskinson, Jonathan Gershuny
Electronic International Journal of Time Use Research
Published: 17 December 2015

The longitudinal Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) follows over 19,000 children born between 2000 and 2002 in the United Kingdom. The sixth round of fieldwork, when most participants are aged 14, began in January 2015 and concludes in early 2016. This round of the survey included two 24-hour time diaries, one for a week day and one for a weekend day. Participants additionally wore an accelerometer during their two diary days. Young people of this generation have grown up using the internet and smart technologies. Web and smart platforms offer opportunities to provide highly customised support to participants and to reduce processing of raw responses into research data. The MCS capitalised on these opportunities with an innovative mixed-mode data collection approach, including a smartphone diary app, a web diary, and a paper diary. The activity distributions in the piloting phases were largely similar by mode, and modest variations more likely reflect small pilot samples rather than instrument performance. All three modes collected a mean of 26 episodes (paper and web diaries elicited more episodes than the app diaries, but even the app collected a mean of 22 episodes – which compares favourably to the means in paper and telephone interview survey diaries completed by young people and included in the MTUS). Overall, the instruments performed well.

Innovations and Lessons from the UK 2014-2015 Everyday Life Survey
Kimberly Fisher, Jonathan Gershuny, Killian Mullan, Oriel Sullivan, Sarah Morris
Electronic International Journal of Time Use Research
Published: 17 December 2015

CTUR commissioned the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to administer the survey. We initially sampled 10,960 private households. In the main period of data collection, over 7,600 people in over 4,000 households returned at least one completed diary. Experience on the doorstep showed that selling the survey as research into everyday life to find out what activities most contribute to people’s wellbeing proved more effective than other approaches. Initial review of the returns so far indicate that the survey has collected high quality data. Three features of the UK diary instrument offer new research opportunities currently not widely available in the time use field: allowing participants to record multiple secondary activities; including a tick-box for events which involved the use of a smart device; and collection of enjoyment ratings alongside each event. Our experience collecting these features raises questions for how this field handles some dimensions of capturing activities.

Introducing the American Heritage Time Use Study Data Extract Builder (AHTUS-X)
Kimberly Fisher, Sandra L Hofferth, Sarah Flood, Joan García Román, Yoonjoo Lee, Jonathan Gershuny
Electronic International Journal of Time Use Research
Published: 17 December 2015

As daily life data offers an essential dimension to a vast range of research topics, time use surveys offer better value for money than most surveys considering the potential uses for the money expended on data collection. To achieve this value for money, however, researchers need to use the data. Even now, few universities offer training in the analysis of time use data. Making access to customised data subsets ready for analysis quickly matters to the success and continued expansion of this field. The IPUMS Time Use data extract builder suite is one tool delivering essential data resources to time use researchers. This timepiece details the release of the latest project in this collection of archives, the American Heritage Time Use Study Data Extract Builder (AHTUS-X). As with all archives, continued funding for this project depends on people using the resource. If you have an interest in time use patterns in the USA, you both access essential data and contribute to the long-term preservation of this collection of documented historical change by visiting and making extracts from

Developing a Method to Test the Validity of 24 Hour Time Use Diaries Using Wearable Cameras: A Feasibility Pilot
Paul Kelly, Emma Thomas, Aiden Doherty, Teresa Harms, Órlaith Burke, Jonathan Gershuny, Charlie Foster
Published: 3 December 2015

Self-report time use diaries collect a continuous sequenced record of daily activities but the validity of the data they produce is uncertain. This study tests the feasibility of using wearable cameras to generate, through image prompted interview, reconstructed 'near-objective' data to assess their validity. 16 volunteers completed the Harmonised European Time Use Survey (HETUS) diary and used an Autographer wearable camera (recording images at approximately 15 second intervals) for the waking hours of the same 24-hour period. Participants then completed an interview in which visual images were used as prompts to reconstruct a record of activities for comparison with the diary record. 14 participants complied with the full collection protocol. We compared time use and number of discrete activities from the diary and camera records (using 10 classifications of activity). In terms of aggregate totals of daily time use we found no significant difference between the diary and camera data. In terms of number of discrete activities, participants reported a mean of 19.2 activities per day in the diaries, while image prompted interviews revealed 41.1 activities per day. The visualisations of the individual activity sequences reveal some potentially important differences between the two record types, which will be explored at the next project stage. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using wearable cameras to reconstruct time use through image prompted interview in order to test the concurrent validity of 24-hour activity time-use budgets. In future we need a suitably powered study to assess the validity and reliability of 24-hour time use diaries.

Evrim Altintaş
Family Science
Published: 26 October 2015

This paper examines educational differences in fathers’ time spent in primary and secondary childcare activities using the American Time Use Survey (2003–2013). Compared to fathers with lower educational attainment, well-educated fathers spend more engaged time with their children, where a child is the main center of attention. Although highly educated fathers are not more accessible to their children than fathers with less education, they spend more time in developmental childcare activities associated with positive outcomes for children. The effect of fathers’ education on time spent in routine childcare is completely explained by spouse’s education, whereas father’s time in managerial or developmental childcare activities is hardly affected. Overall, the results indicate distinct fathering practices by educational attainment, some of which are explained by spouse’s education.

Ewa Jarosz
World Leisure Journal
Published: 28 September 2015

Social differentiation in leisure time-use patterns has been found in many developed countries with long-standing capitalist traditions. Thus far, however, little is known about the countries with relatively younger capitalist economies, such as post-socialist nations in Central and Eastern Europe, where, until recently, social inequality has not been significant in magnitude. This study employs time-use data for Poland to examine the relationship between social class characteristics and four dimensions of leisure: duration; fragmentation; diversity of activities; and complexity of time-use sequences. The results demonstrate that respondent's occupation and education have a significant effect on all of these parameters. Much of the effect of occupational characteristics, however, is explained by differences in leisure duration, which seems to be the main cause of differences in leisure dynamics across occupational categories. Nevertheless, the variety of leisure activities, associated primarily with the level of education, remains a dimension of significant differentiation even when duration of leisure is held constant. These findings point to two major drivers of leisure differentiation in Poland. The first is occupational class linked with the duration of leisure and, most likely, work time arrangements. The second is related to respondent's education, and fairly independent of leisure duration. Together, these factors affect both the quantitative (duration and fragmentation) and qualitative (diversity) dimensions of leisure. This serves as an evidence on the existence of social differentiation in leisure in Poland, which also relates it to previous findings from Western societies. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of characteristics of leisure patterns for the leisure experience and individual wellbeing.

Oriel Sullivan, Francesco C Billari, Evrim Altintaş
Journal of Family Issues
Published: 2 June 2014

Comparing a cluster of European countries that have recently experienced very low fertility with other industrialized countries, we hypothesize a connection between fertility behavior and fathers’ increasing participation in unpaid work. Using cross-national time use data we find significant evidence of recent increases in the contribution of younger, more highly educated fathers to child care and core domestic work in very low–fertility countries that have recently experienced upturns in fertility. The pace of these increases exceeds that found in the comparison group of other industrialized countries. We interpret these findings as suggestive evidence for a process of cross-national social diffusion of more egalitarian domestic gender relations, in particular among more highly educated fathers, acting to facilitate a turnaround in the pattern of postponed and foregone fertility which has characterized lowest low– and very low–fertility countries.

Jonathan Gershuny, Oriel Sullivan
Review of Economics of the Household
Published: 3 March 2014

Most research into the division of household domestic labor focuses on couple households, treating other household members such as children/youths and other adults as independent variables affecting the domestic work of husbands and wives. We present an integrated analysis of variance/variance decomposition that summarizes the determinants of the housework contributions of, and the housework burden imposed by, all the individuals in four common household types, with a focus on the contributions of older children and youths. We demonstrate the importance of statistical interactions between the contributions of different household members (distinguished by partnership status, gender, and the ages and genders of children/youths), in particular for those households containing children/youths. We conclude that in order to analyze the contributions of all household members jointly, it is necessary to distinguish different household compositions for separate analysis.

Cristina Borra, Almudena Sevilla Sanz, Jonathan Gershuny
Social Indicators Research
Published: 2 December 2013

This paper proposes an innovative statistical matching method to combine the advantages of large national surveys and time diary data. We use data from two UK datasets that share stylised time-use information, crucial for the matching process. In particular, time-diary information of an individual from the Home On-line Study, our donor data set, is imputed to a similar individual from the British Household Panel Survey, our recipient dataset. Propensity score methods are used in conjunction with Mahalanobis matching to increase matching quality.

Kimberly Fisher, Jonathan Gershuny
Electronic International Journal of Time Use Research
Published: 30 November 2013

CTUR staff currently are designing of the new UK HETUS instruments, with aims to optimise compatibility with the current second round HETUS project, with the 2000-01 first round UK HETUS, as well as with the longer sequence of UK data in the Multinational Time Use Study. A subsample of the new UK HETUS households will complete an affect field in their time dia- ry alongside the activity and activity-context reporting. The ESRC grant requires this new survey to enter the field in April 2014, and for data collection to continue through March 2015. This survey will collect two diaries from all house hold members aged 8 and older in sampled private households, one diary on a week day or work /school day, and one diary on a weekend or non-work/school day. Diarists will record their activities in their own words. As the new UK HETUS fieldwork will overlap the collection of time diaries in the two longitudinal surveys (the Millennium Cohort Survey and Understanding Society), those who analyse this data will have a chance to compliment diary an alysis with longitudinal evidence. The UK HETUS survey design process already includes preparation for distribution to researchers through the MTUS, the TUS-X extract system (in which CTUR is collaborating with the Maryland Population Research Centre and the Minnesota Population Centre to provide customised variable construction and file download facilities), and through the UK Data Archive. 2014 and beyond will offer many new research opportunities for those with an interest in daily behaviour in the UK.

John P Robinson, Jonathan Gershuny
Electronic International Journal of Time Use Research
Published: 30 November 2013

One of the notable innovations in social-science methodology developed during the 1960s was Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS). MDS made it possible for social scientists to discover, uncover or model the underlying spatial structure of relations between various social collectives (like countries or communities), social objects (like music or artifacts) or social attitudes. One early application of MDS described the dimensional contours of Americans’ views of other countries in terms of “perceptual maps of the world”. More recently, it has been used to map country differences in the World Values Survey. Spurred by its initial successful applications, MDS was extended to time-diary data collected in the pioneering 1965 Multinational Time-Budget Study, in which it again provided insightful portrayals of daily activity across the 15 national settings in that study. This present article updates and extends these results by applying MDS methods to the most recent diary collection in the Oxford University MTUS data archive – covering more than 20 (mainly European) countries. Once again, the result was plausible (but somewhat different) configurations again emerged from MDS visualizations. Moreover, these mappings were compatible with conclusions from the 1965 mapping and with earlier more conventional analyses.