Travel-to-work and subjective well-being: a study of UK dual career households

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

July 15, 2014


Highlights• The BHPS is used to model travel-to-work, time-use and subjective well-being of dual career households.• Women report shorter commutes and working hours/overtime, but lengthy housework.• Uneven household division of labour reduces available leisure time for women.• Long commutes create dissatisfaction among both men and women.• Children constrain women with short commutes creating dissatisfaction with leisure.
Abstract: This article contributes to our understanding of the interaction between
travel-to-work, time-use, and subjective well-being among full-time men
and women in dual career households. Findings from empirical
investigation of the British Household Panel Survey (1993–2009)
identify comparable overall time-use (combined commutes, working
hours/overtime, housework, and (ill/elderly) care) between genders,
however the distributions are distinct. Women report shorter commutes
and working hours/overtime, but lengthy housework. Among men lengthier
commutes generate dissatisfaction, while the presence of dependent
children reduces satisfaction with leisure indicative of the impact of
chauffeuring. Women’s relationship with travel-to-work appears more
complex. Women remain car dependent. Meanwhile, both short and
long commutes generate dissatisfaction. Findings indicate short commutes
among mothers which reduce satisfaction with leisure time, reflecting
multi-activity journeys including the school run. The evidence is
indicative of inequality in the household division of labour limiting
women’s temporal and spatial flexibility and reducing satisfaction with
leisure time.

Published in

Journal of Transport Geography

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 39 , p.187 -196






Not held in Research Library - bibliographic reference only



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