Models of parenting and its effect on academic productivity: Preliminary results from an international survey

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Derrick, Gemma Elizabeth
Jaeger, Adam
Chen, Pei Ying
Sugimoto, Cassidy R.
van Leeuwen, Th N.
Larivière, Vincent

Derrick*, G., Jaeger, A., Chen, P., Sugimoto, C., van Leeuwen, T., Larivière, V. Models of parenting and its effect on academic productivity: Preliminary results from an international survey. 17th International Conference on Scientometrics & Informetrics. 2-5 septembre 2019. 1670-1676


This preliminary paper investigates the cost of parenting engagement on academic productivity and impact. Instead of investigating the relationship between gender and academia, this study focuses on time invested in parenting as the lead factor underpinning productivity differences for both men and women. Survey responses from 17,519 first and last authors publishing between 2007 and 2017 yielded four distinct parenting types: Lead parents; Satellite parents; Sole parents; and Dual parents. In addition a free text box in the survey allowed for the analysis of 5976 qualitative responses about participant’s experiences balancing parenting with their partners, and academic careers. Results show a significant difference across all types of parenting relative to gender for the number of papers produced, as well as for the proportion of papers published in top journals. In addition, for men and women who take on dual parenting roles (a hypothetical 50/50 split), the productivity cost is higher for women. Conversely, there is a significant cost for men and women who take on the role of Lead parent. Further qualitative investigation highlights the incidence of an ‘invisible burden’in self-identified dual parenting families, wherein there is a significant amount of unacknowledged labor that is undertaken by females. This invisible labor may contribute to the difference in productivity between men and women in dual-parenting relationships.

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