Publications by CTUR Members
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 www.ahtusdata.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.