Three Types of Working Dads: Which Are You?

New research shows there are three types of working dads. Which are you?
New research shows there are three types of working dads. Which are you?

According to new research from Boston College’s Center for Work and Family, there are three types of working dads.

In this post, I’ll describe these three categories, how BCCWF developed them, and share some quick thoughts. I’ll even have a poll to see which category you fall into, and a request to share your story. In their recent study, BCCWF asked about 100 working dads (mostly white-collar)the following two related questions:

  • How should caregiving be provided in your family? and
  • How is caregiving provided in your family?

Here are the results:

Results from BCCWF's New Dad studies
Results from BCCWF’s New Dad studies

About 2/3 of dads stated that caregiving should be divided equally, but only 1/3 of dads say that this is true for their families. In fact, with a deeper dive into the numbers, the responses to these two questions fell into three pretty equal categories:

  • Egalitarian Dads – Dads who say caregiving should be shared equally, and are doing so
  • Traditional Dads – Dads who say caregiving should not be equal, that their spouse should do more, and she does more
  • Conflicted Dads – Dads who say caregiving should be shared equally, but have not figured out a way to make this happen

Before we move on, here’s a quick poll: Which of the three types of working dads are you?

[yop_poll id=”1″ show_results=”1″]

BC dug even deeper and they compared the responses of these three types of working dads on a variety of other questions, including:

  • Life satisfaction
  • Job satisfaction
  • Amount of stress based on work-family conflict

The results are really interesting.

The happiest group in terms of life and job satisfaction, as well as lower work-family conflict was the Egalitarian Dads.

The next happiest group was the Traditional Dads.

The Conflicted Dads were the least happy.

These results actually make a lot of sense. I’ve written before about the benefits of an egalitarian relationship. The traditional dads acting consistently with their values, have presumably have worked out their arrangements with their spouses and families (as I discuss in chapter 1 of my book).

The conflicted dads have it rough- they aspire to egalitarian goals but can’t make it work because of the barriers posed by finances, family, and most typically the structure and culture of the workplace. I have a lot of thoughts about how conflicted dads can, over time, change their predicament (I even wrote a best-selling book about it!), and we’ll explore these in future posts.

But I also need your help!

I would LOVE to hear from dads from all three categories to learn about what works well (and not so well) for you and your families. Please contact me @ScottBehson on twitter or at Scott.Behson @ gmail . com, so we can discuss. Or you can just share a snippet of your story in the comments below. Thanks!

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One thought on “Three Types of Working Dads: Which Are You?

  1. this is real…unfortunately with this error of evolved and working women Egalitarian Dads are very few with quite a number of the Traditional Dads with the largest number being Conflicted thus the status the societies are in today

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