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Navigating family transitions: Evidence from the General Social Survey 2006

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General Social Survey, Cycle 20: Family Transitions Survey
Beaupré, Pascale & Cloutier, Elisabeth
government document
Publication Date: 
13 Jun 2007

Excerpts from The Daily article: A growing proportion of fathers have taken leave from work for the birth or adoption of a child since 2001, although they have been returning to work sooner than mothers, according to a new report. The report, based on data from the 2006 General Social Survey (GSS), analyzes the supports and services families use during key transitions in their life, such as a having or adopting a child or going through a separation or a divorce. While the proportion of women who took leave for a child's birth or adoption remained stable between 2001 and 2006, the proportion of men who did so increased. Most fathers returned to work within the month following the child's birth or adoption, well before mothers. The vast majority (86%) of those parents who took leave from work for a child's birth or adoption reported that they were satisfied with their return to the job. Nevertheless, women who return to work after maternity leave undergo far more stress than men who take similar time off. In fact, 6 out of every 10 mothers (62%) reported that the transition between leave and work was stressful. One-fifth described it as very stressful. On the other hand, most fathers (65%) rated the transition as not too stressful, or even not stressful at all. GSS data showed that nearly half of parents cited balancing job and family responsibilities as the main source of stress associated with their return to work.