Regretting fatherhood in Spain
Journal of Family Research Nº: early view (Special Issue "Fathers in Europe: Policies, Constructions and Practices")
Autores: Meil, Gerardo; Romero-Balsas, Pedro; Muntanyola-Saura, Dafne


Objective: In this first study of its kind in Spain, we analyse the scope of and reasons underlying paternal regret.

Background: Research on parental regret, a subject only recently broached by analysts, tends to focus on motherhood. Regretting fatherhood has been only scantly researched. In this study we test the effects of intensive fathering, the use of different care resources, economic and employment conditions, and satisfaction with respondents’ partnership on their regret for having children.

Method: The analysis is based on an online survey of parents of children under 7 years old (QUIDAN Survey) A total of 3100 parents were interviewed, with the sample evenly distributed by sex and youngest child’s age, and proportional by parents’ highest level of schooling and place of residence. The weighted subsample used in this article included 1374 fathers. The hypotheses are tested with logistic regression.

Results: The social factors associated with a greater likelihood of regret include circumstances that challenge men’s role as primary breadwinner, a negative impact of fatherhood on job career, a high dependence on grandparents for balancing working and private lives and partnership dissatisfaction. A relationship between intensive fathering and regret could not be observed.

Conclusion: The findings show the extent of paternal regret to be fairly limited, similar to the proportion reported for maternal regret. Paternal regret is mainly associated with family and working circumstances.

Labour markets, families and public policies shaping gender relations and parenting: Introduction to the Special Issue
Journal of Family Research Nº: early view
Autores: Moreno Mínguez, Almudena; Romero-Balsas, Pedro; Inga Las


Objective: This article introduces the reader to the Special Issue "Labour markets, families and public policies shaping gender relations and parenting" and gives a theoretical and empirical overview of gender roles and gender equality in Europe.

Background: This Special Issue analyses the connection between labour markets, families, social policy, and gender relations in several European countries.

Method: The six included articles are based on qualitative and quantitative approaches and data that have been gathered in Finland, Norway, Poland, Spain, and across the entire EU.

Results: Key findings are: (1) In less egalitarian countries, children of single parents suffer more nutritional, educational and social life deprivation. (2) The institutional design of parental leave can contribute to reproducing gender inequality in the use of leave. (3) The institutional design interacts with cultural norms in shaping fatherhood practices of migrant fathers. (4) Individualised, performance-based wage and career schemes can counteract the effects of gender-equalising family policies. (5) Fathers taking leave independently from the mother and for an extended period are more involved in childcare beyond the leave period, and (6) the use of longer unpaid parental leave by mothers leads to a more unequal distribution of childcare between the parents.

Conclusion: This Special Issue highlights that even in the most egalitarian countries, there remain persistent challenges to achieving gender equality regarding labour market, institutions and family life.

Do Europeans want children? The significance of job-related spatial mobility
Contemporary Social Sciences (pag:1-15)
Autores: Romero-Balsas, Pedro

Job-related spatial mobility (JRSM) includes different types of movement situations (long-distance commuting, overnighting, recent relocation, long-distance relationship and multi-mobile) regarding employment and family life and it has implications both for labour market relations and for embarking on parenthood. This article aims to determine how spatial mobility at work can influence childless workers decision on having children in the context of the Great Recession, based on data collected on the occasion of the ‘Job Mobilities and Family Lives in Europe’ panel survey. Conducted in 2007 and 2010–2012, it comprised a sample of 1735 respondents in France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. The subsample of 257 childless people was analysed using multivariable logistic regression. The findings suggest that initially a switch from non-JRSM to JRSM intensifies the importance attached to occupational reasons for not wanting children, although to a greater extent in Germany and Spain than in France

Is Spanish parental leave'traditionalising'the gender distribution of childcare and housework?
Journal of Family Research Nº: early view
Autores: Romero-Balsas, Pedro; Meil, Gerardo; Rogero-García, Jesús


Objective: The question addressed in this study is the possible effect of mothers' use of parental leave on the share of childcare and housework assumed by each parent.

Background: Whilst the length of parental leave is greater in Spain than in other European countries, as it is unpaid, take-up rates are low. Such leaves are taken more frequently and for longer periods by women than men.

Method: To determine the answer, two multivariate regression models were applied to National Statistics Institute 2018 Fertility Survey data. The main independent variables were fathers' and mothers' use of parental leave. The models also controlled for the effects of family and socio-economic variables on the share of childcare and housework assumed by each parent.

Results: The findings showed that mothers' use of unpaid full-time parental leave traditionalises the distribution of domestic chores only when the leave extends beyond one year, whereas part-time leave-taking has no effect whatsoever. That such reversion to tradition can be neutralised when fathers take leaves attests to the advisability of encouraging paternal use. The effects apply to childcare only, however, for other household chores are still distributed along very traditional lines.

Conclusion: Unpaid parental leave use by mothers "traditionalizes" the allocation of childcare within the couple, but only when it takes longer than a year.

Unpaid Parental Leave and Nursery Schools: Are They Substitute or Complementary Resources?
REIS Nº: 177 (pag:11-126)
Autores: Romero-Balsas, Pedro; Rogero-García, Jesús; Meil, Gerardo

Nursery schools and (full-time and part-time) parental leave are key resources used to ensure the work and family balance of Spanish families. This work examines how the use of unpaid parental leave influences nursery school attendance during the first three years of the child's life. Data from a 2012 survey on parental leave in Spain was used. Three multivariate logistic regression models were created to analyze factors associated with nursery school attendance. The results suggest that part-time parental leave has a positive relationship with nursery school attendance, revealing a relationship of complementarity; on the other hand, it is suggested that full-time parental leave is used as a substitute for nursery school attendance.

Factors affecting the length of unpaid parental leave in Spain.
Journal of Family Studies Nº: online first
Autores: Romero-Balsas, Pedro

This study analyses the effect of working conditions, educational background, job mobility, grandparental availability and co-worker attitudes on the duration of unpaid parental leave in Spain. The length of parental leave is a key factor in both the work–family life balance and the furtherance of gender equality in childcare. The data for the analysis were drawn from a 2012 survey on the use of parental leave involving a nationwide sample of 4000 parents with at least one child under the age of 13. Multivariate models were built using logistic regression to analyse parental leave take-up and Cox proportional hazard regression to analyse leave duration (or survival) from a sub-sample of mothers. The results attest to the heavy impact of working conditions on the length of unpaid full- and part-time parental leave. The latter was observed to be taken also to adjust working hours to childcare demands when workplace flexibility or employer support for work–family balance was perceived to be lacking. Job security was found to be a primary determinant in the length of unpaid leave in Spain. The results suggest that longer full- but not part-time leave entails a substantial opportunity cost for the most highly qualified mothers.

Trends towards de-gendering leave use in Spain and Portugal
Research Handbook on Parental Leave
Autores: Meil G., Wall K., Atalaia S., Escobedo A.
Editorial: E. Edgar Publishing
Incremento en la duración del permiso exclusivo para padres y sus consecuencias en el cuidado infantil desde la perspectiva de las madres
Revista Española de Sociología Nº: 31(1) (pag:1-18)
Autores: Romero-Balsas, P.

Las paternidades van cambiando a lo largo del tiempo junto con, entre otros factores, innovaciones en políticas familiares. Este artículo testa la influencia en la implicación paterna en el cuidado de niños a través del incremento de la duración del permiso de paternidad de dos a cinco semanas llevado a cabo desde 2007 a 2018. Se utilizan los datos de la encuesta de fecundidad de 2018. El tamaño muestral es de 3.388 entrevistas. Se realizan modelos de regresión logística para diez tareas de cuidado de niños. Los resultados apuntan a que el permiso de paternidad de dos semanas conlleva una mayor implicación paterna en actividades de cuidado que incluyen la interacción y juego. Mientras que la utilización del permiso de paternidad de cuatro y cinco semanas favorece la implicación en tareas de cuidado físico. No obstante, no se observan cambios en las tareas de cuidado más feminizadas.

Spain country note
International Review of Leave Policies and Research 2021
Autores: Meil, G., Escobedo, A., & Lapuerta, I.
Policemen on Leave Alone in Spain. A Rift in Hegemonic Masculinity?
Men and Masculinities Nº: 24(3) (pag:483-500)
Autores: Romero-Balsas, P.; Meil, G; & Rogero-García, J.


Caring fatherhood in very traditional and masculinized environments has been under-researched. This study analyzed the experience of Spanish policemen who used parental leave to care for their babies alone while their partners returned to paid work. The aim was to ascertain whether use of parental leaves under those circumstances favors the development of caring masculinity. The qualitative methodology deployed consisted in semi-structured interviews conducted in 2014 with a sample of 15 policemen who took parental leave alone for at least 4 weeks while their partners returned to paid work. More specifically, the analysis addressed the respondents’ discourse on the justification of their decision to engage in this type of childcare, the workplace reaction to the decision, and their experience when fathering alone. The findings suggest that, even though hegemonic masculinity persisted in part of these fathers’ discourse and experience, engagement in such innovative practice tended to narrow the divide between traditional and caring masculinity. The conclusion drawn is that encouraging fathers to take leave to care for their children alone is a useful tool for furthering caring masculinity in highly masculinized environments.

Becoming primary caregivers? Unemployed fathers caring alone in Spain
Families, Relationships and Societies Nº: 10(3) (pag:517-533)
Autores: Castrillo Bustamante, C., Rogero-García, J., Romero-Balsas, P. and Meil, G

This article analyses how unemployed fathers with employed partners broach childcare and how they conceive of their own identities. It aims primarily to determine whether these fathers actually play the part of primary caregivers. The analysis is based on in-depth interviews with 26 unemployed fathers who spent at least three months caring for their children. The findings show that these fathers engaged intensively in a wide variety of caring tasks. Nonetheless, their role as primary caregivers is called into question on the grounds of attitude. They tended to take for granted that they should set aside time and space for themselves, adding to their partners’ dual workload. Moreover, the overall responsibility for care fell largely on mothers. Subjectively speaking, while one group of fathers resorted to egalitarian precepts to normalise their situation, for many others, the inability to meet the standard expectations of traditional masculinity prompted an identity conflict.

Back to the future: a sensitivity analysis to predict futur fertility retes considering the influence of family policies. The case of Spain and Norway
Social Indicators Research Nº: 154(3) (pag:943-968)
Autores: Díaz Gandasegui, V., Elizalde San Miguel, V.; Sanz, M.T

This article analyzes the relationship between family policies focused on childcare for children under the age of three and fertility levels. In the current context of very low European fertility, it is important to understand whether public support for families can help increase fertility or if, on the contrary, existing fertility levels are the exact reflection of the reproductive desires of families, regardless of the family-support of the policies that may exist in each country. This analysis was carried out through a stochastic dynamic mathematical model that incorporates both demographic variables and family policy variables. A sensitivity analysis was carried out on Spain and Norway, two countries that have very different models of family policies. This sensitivity analysis allows establishing a relationship between the existing family policies and the total fertility rate and also the expected evolution of fertility rates in the future, if the current family policies remain constant. The results showed that the models which lead to an increase in fertility are those which are most generous and which also incorporate a gender perspective, so they allow the identification of good practices and maximum levels of policy efficiency in regards to different objectives such as increase fertility and advances towards gender equality. By contrast, models with erratic and insufficient support clearly contribute to maintaining fertility at very low levels and perpetuate unequal gender relationships. There is, therefore, space for state agency to develop more effective public policies in both dimensions.

The Impact of Paternity Leave Compared to Unemployment on Child Care and Housework Distribution in Spain
Journal of Family Issues Nº: Online first
Autores: Meil G, Rogero-García J, Romero-Balsas P, Díaz-Gandasegui V.

Paternity leave has been introduced in many countries as a way to foster father´s co-responsibility in family obligations. This study aims \to analyse, for the Spanish case, if (1) the positive effects of the paternity leave are not only limited to the short term, but are maintained at medium and long term; (2) if a similar effect applies in the case of unemployment periods. Based on a subsample of 3388 cases derived from the Spanish Fertility Survey 2018, we perform OLS regression analysis of father´s involvement in childcare and housework. Our analysis shows that longer leaves are related to a greater involvement in care and housework activities, although only in the former, the effect is maintained in the long term. Regarding unemployed fathers, these individuals show more involvement in childcare during the first year, but the effect vanishes later and there is no significant relationship with housework.

Non-Parental Childcare in France, Norway, and Spain
The Palgrave Handbook of Family Sociology in Europe (pag:345-360)
Autores: Meil G., Diaz-Gandasegui V., Rogero-García J., Romero-Balsas P.
Editorial: Palgrave Macmillan

Families rely on both parental and non-parental involvement when confronting the challenge of caring for children till the age of three. Drawing from the 2016 edition of the EU’s Survey on Income and Living Conditions, this study analyses non-parental childcare options in France, Norway, and Spain, taken as examples of different welfare state models. It addresses the degree to which parents of children under 3 years old in each country resort to non-parental agents (grandparents and other relatives, professional care providers, and pre-school services). The results reveal the existence of significant differences in non-parental care strategies in the three countries analysed, though some convergence towards defamilialisation and the important impact of household income on the types of non-parental care prevalent in France and Spain.

The impact of gender values on unpaid work in two countries with different welfare traditions: UK and Spain
Autores: Romero-Balsas, Pedro; O'Brien, Margaret; Castrillo Bustamante, Concepción

This study aimed to compare the gap between gender role values and domestic practice in the UK and Spain. The data were drawn from a sample of British and Spanish male and female respondents to the International Social Survey Programme’s (ISSP) ‘Family and Changing Gender Roles’ module (20022012) and used to create multivariate models using ordinary least-squares regression techniques. The findings suggest that gender role values impacts domestic practice: more time is devoted to housework by egalitarian than non-egalitarian men and less by egalitarian than non-egalitarian women. That effect was not observed for care-giving, however. The impact of gender values on the division by sex of household chores was found to be similar in the UK and Spain. A gradual move to more egalitarian ideals was also observed in both countries over the 10 year period studied.

La ficción de educar a distancia
Revista de Sociología de la Educación Nº: 13 (2) (pag:174-182)
Autores: Jesús Rogero-García

La suspensión de las clases provocada por el COVID-19 y la decisión de continuar con el curso a distancia han implicado que el sistema educativo haya pasado a funcionar sin la presencia de alumnado y profesorado en la escuela. Este artículo sostiene que, en esas circunstancias, el sistema no puede garantizar el derecho a la educación de todo el alumnado. Su objetivo es analizar qué ideas fundamentan la ficción de que sí puede hacerlo, por qué motivos se ha construido y aceptado esta ficción, y qué efectos negativos puede tener. Por último, se ofrecen propuestas de política pública para mitigar estos efectos.

Is involved fatherhood possible? Structural elements influencing the exercise of paternity in Spain and Norway
Journal of Family Issues
Autores: Elizalde San Miguel, B; Díaz Gandasegui, V. & Díaz Gorfinkiel, M.
Family Policy Index: A Tool for Policy Makers to Increase the Effectiveness of Family Policies
Social Indicators Research Nº: 142(1) (pag:387-409)
Autores: Elizalde San Miguel, B; Díaz Gandasegui, V.& Sanz, M. T
El lugar de la mediación religiosa: Una aproximación por métodos mixtos/The place of religious brokerage: A mixed-methods approach
Revista de Investigaciones Sociológicas (REIS) Nº: 165 (pag:101-120)
Autores: Muntanyola-Saura, D. and Fernández, M.
Children’s Emotions in Educational Settings: Teacher Perceptions from Australia, China, Finland, Japan and Spain.
Early Childhood Education Journa
Autores: Pirskanen, H., Jokinen, K., Karhinen-Soppi, A., Notko, M., Lämsä, T., Otani, M., Meil, G., Romero-Balsas, P. & Rogero-García, J.
Spain: leave policy in times of economic crisis, en Peter Moss, Ane-Zofie Duvander y Alison Koslowski (eds.) “Parental Leave and Beyond: Recent International Developments, Current Issues and Future Directions”
Bristol Policy Press.
Autores: Meil G., Romero-Balsas, P. y Rogero-García J.
Permisos de maternidad y paternidad iguales e intransferibles en España
Revista del Ministerio de Trabajo, Migraciones y Seguridad Social (pag:141)
Autores: Meil, G., Rogero-García, J., Romero-Balsas, P., y Castrillo, C.
The effectiveness of corporate gender equality plans in improving leave provisions for fathers in Spain
Community, Work and Family Nº: 22(1) (pag:96-110)
Autores: Meil, G., Romero-Balsas, P., y Castrillo, C.
Sense and Sensibility: using model to examine the relationship between public pre-school places and fertility
Journal of Mathematical Sociology
Autores: Sanz, M. T; Díaz Gandasegui, V; Elizalde San Miguel
Parental leave in Spain: use, motivations and implications
Revista Española de Sociología Nº: 27 (3 Supl) (pag:27-43)
Autores: Meil G., Romero-Balsas, P. and Rogero-García, J.
Spanish fathers benefiting from maternity leave: Experience and policy demands.
Revista del Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social, Economics and Sociology Nº: 136 (pag:17-37)
Autores: Meil, G
Grandparents’ Role in Spanish Families’ Work/Life Balance Strategies
Journal of Comparative Family Studies Nº: 49(2) (pag:163-177)
Autores: Meil, G., Rogero-García, J. & Romero-Balsas, P.
Entre la abnegación y la autonomía. Disposiciones de género en tensión en la experiencia de los vínculos amorosos heterosexuales
Revista Española de Sociología Nº: 27(3) (pag:379-394)
Autores: Castrillo, C
Heterophily in social groups formation:a social network analysis.
Quality and Quantity.
Autores: Barranco, O., Lozares, C. and Muntanyola-Saura, D.
Family or state responsibility? Elderly-and childcare policy preferences in Spain
International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy Nº: 38(11/12) (pag:1101-1115)
Autores: Valarino, I., Meil, G., y Rogero-García, J.
Distributed Attention: An Cognitive Ethnography of Instruction in Sport Settings
Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour Nº: 48(4) (pag:433-454)
Autores: Muntanyola-Saura, D. & Sanchez-Garcia, R
Los malos tratos a las personas mayores
IMSERSO Informe 2016 (pag:489-539)
Autores: Meil, G
Permisos parentales para hombres y corresponsabilidad en el cuidado de niños
Revista del Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social Nº: 131 (pag:15-34)
Autores: Meil, G.
Fathers on Leave Alone in Spain: ‘Hey, I Want to Be Able to Do It Like That, Too’
M. O’Brien, K. Wall (eds.), “Comparative Perspectives on Work-Life Balance and Gender Equality”, Springer, Life Course Research and Social Policies Nº: 6
Autores: Meil, G., Romero-Balsas, P. y Rogero-García, J.
Caring for children under three years in two different models of welfare states: the cases of Spain and Norway.
Journal of Comparative Family Studies Nº: 48(2)
Autores: Díaz Gandasegui, V., Díaz Gorfinkiel, M. & Elizalde San Miguel, B.
Why Parents Take Unpaid Parental Leave: Evidence from Spain. In: Česnuitytė V., Lück D., D. Widmer E. (eds) Family Continuity and Change. Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life.
Palgrave Macmillan, London
Autores: Meil G., Romero-Balsas P., Rogero-García J.
Job Mobility and Subjective Well-being in Europe. Do Highly Mobile Workers Feel Worse?
Cuadernos de Deusto Nº: 56 (pag:105-131)
Autores: Meil, G. & Romero-Balsas, P
Representaciones sociales de los padres y madres sobre la educación pública y privada en España
Revista de la Asociación de Sociología de la Educación Nº: 9(1) (pag:46-58)
Autores: Rogero-García, J., Andrés Candelas, M.
“La violencia contra las mujeres en España” en Fundación Encuentro, España 2016.
Una interpretación de su realidad social, Universidad Pontificia de Comillas Nº: ISBN 978-84-8468-663-7 (pag:85-135)
Autores: Meil, G
Los permisos parentales para el cuidado de niños: percepción social y usos de los mismos entre los padres y las madres.
Nuevos retos de la maternidad y la paternidad en el s. XXI (pag:235-258)
Autores: Meil, G., & Romero-Balsas, P.
La incertidumbre amorosa contemporánea. Estrategias de los jóvenes
Política y Sociedad Nº: 53 (pag:443-462)
Autores: Castrillo, C
Caregiver Leave-Taking in Spain: Rate, Motivations, and Barriers
Journal of Aging & Social Policy Nº: 28(2) (pag:98-112)
Autores: Rogero-García, J. y García-Sainz, C.
Consecuencias del permiso de paternidad en el reparto de tareas y cuidados en la pareja/Consequences Paternity Leave on Allocation of Childcare and Domestic Tasks
Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas (Reis) (pag:87-109)
Autores: Romero-Balsas, P
Cristóbal Torres (ed), España 2015
Autores: Meil, G.
Does paternal childcare replace grandparental support in dual-earner families?
Family Science Nº: 6:1 (pag:31-37)
Autores: Meil, G. y Rogero-García, J.
Transiciones de entrada y salida en la movilidad geográfica circular y bienestar subjetivo
Revista del Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social (pag:215-233)
Autores: Meil, G., & Romero Balsas, P
Crisis y estado de bienestar en el cuidado de menores: reflexiones conceptuales a partir de un estudio comparado de España y Noruega.
Autores: Elizalde San Miguel, B., Díaz Gandasegui, V. & Díaz Gorfinkiel, M.
What is the best care for community-dwelling dependent adults? Sources of care and perception of unmet needs in Spain.
Revista Internacional de Sociología Nº: 72(2) (pag:403-427)
Autores: Rogero-García, J. y Ahmed-Mohamed, K.
Gasto público y de las familias en educación en España: Diferencias entre centros públicos y concertados.
Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas Nº: 147 (pag:121-132)
Autores: Rogero-García, J. y Mario Andrés-Candelas
Interviewing and surveying over the phone: a reflexive account of a research on parenting
Quality & Quantity Nº: 48(5) (pag:2615-2630)
Autores: Muntanyola-Saura, D. & Romero-Balsas, P
How Multimodality shapes Creative Choice in Dance
Revista Internacional de Sociología Nº: 72(3) (pag:563-582)
Autores: Muntanyola-Saura, D.
I Need my Space: The Discursive Construction of Parenthood. Labrys
Études feministes,estudios feministas Nº: 26
Autores: Muntanyola-Saura, D.
Abuelas, abuelos y padres varones en el cuidado de la infancia.
Cuadernos de Relaciones Laborales Nº: 32(1) (pag:49-67)
Autores: Meil, G. y Rogero-García, J.
Decision‐making factors within paternity and parental leaves: Why Spanish fathers take time off from work.
Gender, Work & Organization Nº: 20(6) (pag:678-691)
Autores: Romero‐Balsas, P., Muntanyola‐Saura, D., & Rogero‐García, J
Educar para cuidar y ser cuidados
Aula de Innovación Educativa Nº: 218 (pag:33-37)
Autores: Rogero Anaya, J. y Rogero García, J.
Fathers taking paternity leave in Spain: which characteristics foster and which hampers the use of paternity leave?
Sociologia e Politiche Sociali (pag:25-55)
Autores: Romero-Balsas, P