Time Use, Health, and Subjective Well-being in China: A Gendered Life Course Approach

Zheng Mu, National University of Singapore
Kriti Vikram , National University of Singapore

Using the nationally representative 2010 Chinese Family Panel Studies (CFPS), this is the first study comprehensively investigating links between time use and individuals’ well-being in China. Specifically, we examined how weekly hours on work, housework, caregiving, sleep, and leisure influence physical health, mental health, and subjective well-being, and how the link differs by gender and across life course stages. Results show that longer working hours lead to better self-rated health, lower depression, better self-rated social ability and stronger confidence for both men and women. However, it only makes men happier. But the coefficient for women is insignificant. Additionally, longer caregiving hours lead to negative well-being outcomes for men, while relating to better health and higher level of happiness for women. Drawing on the gendered life course approach, we find that the gender differences in links between time use and well-being outcomes enlarge during life course transitions of marriage and parenthood.

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 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity