Spousal influence in time use: on book reading, highbrow culture attendance and computer use

Timo Toivonen


Spousal influence on time use has been studied quite intensively in the context of domestic work. Spousal influence means how the properties or behavior of a spouse affect the other spouse’s behavior. However, spousal influence studies on time use in leisure time are very rare. This research focuses on just that. The general hypothesis was that the power of spousal influence is dependent on the type of leisure activity in question. Three different types of leisure activities were investigated. They were: book reading, visiting more or less high culture places, or attendance at high culture events, and computer use. Data came from two recent Finnish time use surveys from the years 1999­–2000 and 2009–2010. General univariate linear models were used as the method. It was found that spousal influence was very strong in high culture activities, remarkable in book reading, and non-existent in computer use. It was also evident that a person’s age and education increased spousal effect in time devoted to highbrow culture.

Keywords: changes in time use, computer use, highbrow culture, reading, spousal influence

Published in electronic International Journal of Time Use Research