The positive spillover and crossover of paternity leave use: A dyadic longitudinal analysis

Karen Z. Kramer, Hanjin Bae, Cheong ah Huh, Sunjin Pak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Paternity leave policies are gaining increased recognition from researchers and policymakers for being an instrumental tool that can have a positive impact on individuals, families, and societies. In this study, we estimate the effect of Korean fathers' paternity leave use on mothers' family relationship satisfaction using dyadic longitudinal data. Applying a spillover-crossover theoretical framework, we predict that fathers who use paternity leave (T1) experience a positive spillover manifested in increased life satisfaction (T2) and that this process will be mediated by an increase in their job satisfaction. In turn, this will “crossover” to positively affect mothers' family relationship satisfaction (T3). We further propose that gender role agreement will moderate this relationship. Using nationally representative longitudinal panel data from the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study (KLIPS), which follows individuals and families on an annual basis, we find that fathers' use of paternity leave is positively associated with their life satisfaction and that this is mediated by an increase in father's job satisfaction. Further, fathers' life satisfaction mediates the relationship between the use of paternity leave and mothers' family relationship satisfaction. We also find support for the moderating role of gender role agreement. We do not find any support for a direct link between paternity leave use and mothers' family relationship satisfaction. We conclude that taking paternity leave has a positive association with beneficial outcomes for fathers, mothers, and families as a whole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103310
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
StatePublished - Dec 2019



  • Dyadic analysis
  • Family relationship satisfaction
  • Life satisfaction
  • Paternity leave
  • Spillover-crossover model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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