Conference Paper Joint Empirical Social Science Seminar
'Do As I Say, Not As I Do!' An Analysis of Young People's Time Use, Considering Parent's Time Use
29 Nov 2006
There has been little research conducted looking at how young people in the UK spend their time, and how this time may be affected by their parents. Against a backdrop of increasing concern about anti-social behaviour, young people's time use, and interaction with their parents can provide a useful source of information, which could inform a wide range of social policy. This paper focuses on four activities that young people (aged 8 - 18 years) in lone mother and two parent households may engage in throughout the day. These activities are playing indoor games, watching TV, reading and doing domestic chores. Taken together these activities form a broad spectrum of the general types of activity a person engages in. The paper analyses the effects of the young person's age and gender on their engagement in these activities. It also analyses the effects of their parent's education, employment status and occupation. In most respects the results echo those from other research. Further to this the paper attempts to gauge the extent to which young people's engagement in these activities is affected by their parent's engagement in these activities. I find that engagement in these activities is positively affected by a parent's engagement, if the young person is at the same location whilst their parents are doing the activity, giving weight to the proposition that parent's actions are very important. The research employs a novel methodology for analysing time use data; in that the dependent variable is the number of times a young person does an activity throughout the day, as opposed to the total quantity of time. In other words, the dependent variable is a count variable, and is analysed as such. It is argued that this approach is one that has considerable potential in future time use research.