About CELFFaculty, Fellows and StaffCalendar of EventsResearch & Working PapersWork-Family ResourcesHome

“Pay attention please”: Towards the development of a model of parents’ multitasking behaviors

Jeffrey S. Good

UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families
Working Paper No. 66


Generally, studies of parents’ multitasking behaviors have been accomplished through self-reports and time diaries. Within that literature, multitasking is understood as episodes in which people report being engaged in more than one activity at a time, usually defined as a ‘main activity’ and a ‘secondary activity.’ In this paper, I analyze video recordings of naturally occurring interactions with a focus on working parents’ weekday activities at home, and particularly, parents’ multitasking practices. I suggest that through a closer look at the sequence organization of activities and how attention is managed in interaction, we can produce a more robust definition of multitasking, as well as a deeper analysis of how activities concurrently operate. The analyses I present suggest that time, attention, and activity-type are important aspects of an emergent model of multitasking.

Home | About Us | Faculty, Fellows & Staff | Calendar of Events
Research & Working Papers | Work-Family Resources