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Scand J Public Health. 2014 Mar;42(2):137-45. doi: 10.1177/1403494813510984. Epub 2013 Nov 21.

Time pressure among parents in the Nordic countries: a population-based cross-sectional study.

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  • 11Nordic School of Public Health NHV, Gothenburg, Sweden.



To estimate the prevalence of time pressure experienced by parents in the Nordic countries and examine potential gender disparities as well as associations to parents' family and/or living conditions.


5949 parents of children aged 2-17 years from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, participating in the 2011 version of the NordChild study, reported their experience of time pressure when keeping up with duties of everyday life. A postal questionnaire addressed to the most active caretaker of the child, was used for data gathering and logistic regression analysis applied.


The mother was regarded as the primary caregiver in 83.9% of the cases. Of the mothers, 14.2% reported that they experienced time pressure "most often", 54.7 % reported "sometimes" and 31.1 % reported they did "not" experience time pressure at all. Time pressure was experienced by 22.2 % of mothers in Sweden, 18.4% in Finland, 13.7% in Norway and 3.9% in Denmark, and could be associated to lack of support, high educational level, financial stress, young child age and working overtime.


The mother is regarded as the child's primary caregiver among the vast majority of families in spite of living in societies with gender-equal family policies. The results indicate that time pressure is embedded in everyday life of mainly highly-educated mothers and those experiencing financial stress and/or lack of social support. No conclusion could be made about time pressure from the "normbreaking" fathers participating in the study, but associations were found to financial stress and lack of support.


Everyday life; Nordic countries; health; parents; time pressure; wellbeing

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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