Number of families with two parents working up 50 percent since 1970

By Shawn Price

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- The number of families with two working parents has increased by 15 percent since 1970, while the number of families with just a dad working has dwindled by 20 percent, a new poll indicates.

The Pew Research Center found evidence to support long-held beliefs about how American parents feel about their lives. With almost half of American families now requiring both parents to work full-time, the study found gender roles still mostly prevailed in the home with the struggle growing for moms in the United States to find the right balance more often than dads.


According to the study, 46 percent of American families now have both parents working full time, up from 31 percent in 1970. Twenty-six percent of families feature a working dad and a stay-at-home mom, down from 46 percent 45 years ago.

Fifty-six percent of parents said it is difficult for them to balance their responsibilities. Another 14 percent said it was very difficult and 42 percent said it was somewhat difficult.

Meanwhile, 60 percent of working moms said finding the right balance was difficult, compared to 52 percent of dads. One-in-five full-time working moms said it was very difficult for them to keep the two balanced, while 12 percent of dads found it very difficult.


Other factors like education and race played roles in how difficult balancing work and family was.

Seventy percent of college-educated mothers said it was difficult, while 52 percent of moms without a college degree said it was difficult. The gap between dads was slightly less, with 61 percent of college-educated dads finding it difficult compared to 47 percent of dads without college degrees.

White parents struggled more than non-white parents with the work and family balance. 57 percent of white fathers said so, while 44 percent of non-white fathers said it was difficult. Again, moms struggled more with 65 percent of white mothers saying the balance was difficult to maintain and 52 percent of non-white mothers said the same.

The survey was conducted among 1,807 U.S. parents with children younger than 18 from Sept. 15-Oct. 13.

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