Parents' Family Time and Work Schedules: The Split-Shift Schedule in Spain

P. Gracia, M. Kalmijn

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


This study used data on couples from the 2003 Spanish Time Use Survey (N = 1,416) to analyze how work schedules are associated with family, couple, parent–child, and non-family leisure activities. Spain is clearly an interesting case for the institutionalized split-shift schedule, a long lunch break rooted in the traditional siesta that splits the workday between morning and evening. Results showed strong negative associations between the split shift and both family and parent–child activities. The evening shift was negatively associated with couple and family time, but not with parent–child time. Women spent much more time than men in parent–child activities for all work categories, and they were more responsive to the spouse's work hours. Men were substantially more active than women in non-family leisure, considering both individuals' and their spouses' work schedules. Altogether, this study has important implications for scientific and public policy debates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-415
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • families and work
  • parent–child relations
  • time use
  • work-family balance
  • work hours
  • SSCI


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