A new study reinforces a familiar story by finding that girls aged 8-18 do more routine housework than boys.

However, the difference didn’t grow as the children aged: time spent doing housework increased from middle childhood to mid-adolescence for both boys and girls. But when mothers worked longer hours, it was girls, not boys, who shouldered the burden of more housework.

When young people reported more conflict over housework with their parents, or placed less value on family obligations, doing more housework was associated with more unhappiness and lower school grades.

The research was carried out by Dr Chun Bun Lam at the Education University of Hong Kong and was based on home interviews and daily diaries of fathers, mothers, and two siblings in 201 European-American families who participated in a study funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Data were collected annually, on six occasions over seven years.

Header photo: kelly. Creative Commons.


Lam CB, Greene KM & McHale SM (2016), Housework time from middle childhood through adolescence: Links to parental work hours and youth adjustment, Developmental Psychology