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One third of Australian children believe their fathers work "too much": study

Xinhua, May 19, 2017 Adjust font size:

One third of Australian children aged between 11 and 13 believe their fathers work too much, according to the results of a study released by the Australian National University (ANU) on Friday.

The study, undertaken as part of a wider project called "Growing Up in Australia," took accounts from 3,000 fathers and their children, and discovered that nearly half of all fathers worked more than 44 hours a week.

The study's lead researcher, Professor Lyndall Strazdins, said those long hours, as well as "regular" night and weekend work, contributed to their children's perceptions that fathers were working too much.

"Australia's work culture and social norms are making it hard for dads to be the fathers they want to be," Strazdins said in a statement accompanying the study on Friday.

"More than half of fathers reported missing family events because of work, while a fifth described their family time as more pressured and less fun due to their jobs, and these were problems their children shared."

The study also showed that, on average, Australian fathers spent more time at paid work than mothers, who still undertake more domestic and home duties than fathers. Strazdins said longer work hours were also a contributor to health risks among dads in Australia.

"Our research has shown that people who work more than 39 hours per week are putting their health at risk, and we have also shown that expectations to work long hours are a problem for gender equality," she said.

"Workplaces still assume men are more devoted to their jobs than women and so they expect men to work longer hours, but this creates dilemmas for fathers."

Despite children wishing their fathers worked fewer hours per week, most understood that their dad "needs to work."

"While nearly one in eight children wished their father did not work, most kids understand that dad needs to work," she said. Endit