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Dads Who Do Chores Raise More Successful Daughters

Update Date: May 28, 2014 02:29 PM EDT

Daughters raised by fathers who do housework make more money. New research reveals that fathers who help with household chores are more likely to raise daughters who aspire to less traditional, and potentially higher paying jobs.

Researchers said that latest findings suggest that parents who share domestic chores may positively shape attitudes and ambitions of children, especially daughters.

While previous studies reveal that mothers' gender and work equality significantly predict children's' attitudes toward gender, the latest study reveals that the way fathers' approach to household chores is the strongest predictor of daughters' own professional ambitions.

"This suggests girls grow up with broader career goals in households where domestic duties are shared more equitably by parents," lead author Alyssa Croft, a PhD Candidate in the University of British Columbia's Dept. of Psychology, said in a news release. "How fathers treat their domestic duties appears to play a unique gatekeeper role."

Researchers said that the findings suggest that parents' domestic actions may speak louder than words. In fact, the effect of paternal chores was significantly more influential than fathers publically endorsed gender equality.

"Despite our best efforts to create workplace equality, women remain severely under-represented in leadership and management positions," said Croft. "This study is important because it suggests that achieving gender equality at home may be one way to inspire young women to set their sights on careers from which they have traditionally been excluded."

Researchers studied 326 children between the ages of seven and 13 and at least one of their parents. The study calculated the division of chores and paid labor and determined career stereotypes that participants identified with, their gender, work attitudes and their children's career aspirations.

Like previous studies, the latest findings revealed that mothers did more housework than men. The findings also revealed that childcare and domestic work was associated more with women than men, and girls were significantly more likely than boys to say they want to be adults who take care of children rather than someone who has a career.

"'Talking the talk' about equality is important, but our findings suggest that it is crucial that dads 'walk the walk' as well - because their daughters clearly are watching," said Croft. Researchers said the latest findings suggest that girls might be learning from an early age to take on additional roles, rather than different roles.

The findings were published in the journal Psychological Science.

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