Research Reveals – Chapter Sixteen

RR16.1: Children’s Free Time Declining, Homework Increasing
A study by Sandra Hofferth of the Survey Research Centre at the University of Michigan, entitled “Changes in American Children’s Time, 1981-1997”, revealed that:

  • Children’s overall free time had declined by about 12 hours per week in overall free time for children.
  • Playtime for children had decreased by three hours per week from 16 hours per week to 13.
  • Unstructured outdoor activities had fallen by about 50%.

Studying (homework) had increased by almost 50% during this 16-year period.[i]



[i] Hofferth, S. L. (1999). Changes in America children’s time, 1981-1997. University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, Center Survey.