This comment uses more recently available data to examine the robustness of the converging trends in developmental child care time by parental education argued by Cha & Park (2021, Journal of Marriage and Family, 83, 769–785).
Drawing on the 2003–2017 American Time Use Survey, Cha and Park concluded that the educational gaps in developmental child care time have converged and called for future research on its implications for social egalitarianism. This conclusion must be supported by sufficient evidence showing persistent converging trends in the subsequent years. Otherwise, Cha and Park’s (2021) conclusion of greater equality in parents’ developmental child care time does not provide a basis for future studies.
Using the same data, sampling, measures, and analytic strategy, the comment first replicates the results from the original study between 2003 and 2017 and then extends to 2020, which is the most recent available time-use data upon submission.
Descriptive analysis shows that the least-educated fathers’ time spent on developmental child care was highly volatile after 2015. In multivariate analysis, the interaction terms between fathers’ education and year in OLS models are minimal and not statistically significant when extends to 2020, indicating no sufficient evidence to support Cha and Park’s (2021) conclusion for fathers.
While the educational gaps in developmental child care time among mothers continue to converge, the same trend does not show for fathers. The inconsistent conclusions suggest it is premature to announce greater equality in parental child care time by parental education.