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Study: Adult Children Living With Their 'Rents Causes Prolonged Familial Conflict

Study: Adult Children Living With Their 'Rents Causes Prolonged Familial Conflict

"There is dissociation between what mothers and fathers expect of their children in this evolutionary stage..."

Kicking your kids out of the nest may be what's best for your family dynamics. A recent study showed that households with young adults age 18 to 24 living with their parents is causing prolonged familial conflict.

The review was conducted in Spain where adults move out of the house later than their northern Europe and United States counterparts. What Beatriz Rodríguez, researcher from the University of La Laguna and co-author of the study found, according to Science Daily, is that domestic disputes in these households were more prevalent:

Conflicts during adolescence reach a peak at the start of this period, they decrease during the mid-teens, and increase again in the late teens," Rodríguez pointed out. [...]

"There is dissociation between what mothers and fathers expect of their children in this evolutionary stage and what the emerging adults expect of themselves. In addition, there is a divide between social values and their personal expectations," the study reports.

Just the fact that following videos exist alludes to the prevalence of adult-child versus parent conflict:

Although these findings may seem intuitive, it further makes the case for why the natural order involves young adults moving out of the house between the ages of 18 and 24 -- and not moving back in. Even in the countries in the study that are considered to have youths moving out faster, like the United States and Britain, the number of adult children living with their parents is increasing.

Increased joblessness and difficulty in buying a home has more and more of these adults continuing to live with parents after high school or coming home after college, which is called the boomerang effect. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census in 2005, 46 percent of the 18 to 24 age group were living at home; 8 percent age 25-34 were still living with their parents.

According to "What's Going on With Young People Today?" -- research published in 2010 by Richard Settersten of Oregon State University and Barbara Ray, president of Hired Pen, Inc. -- says this may not be as abnormal as we think.

Science Daily has more:

The middle of the last century is often used as a comparison for judging young people today. But Settersten and Ray reveal that that the baby boom generation is an anomaly. Young people in the early decades of the 1900s were slow to leave their family homes and start families. Becoming an adult then, as now, was a gradual process characterized by "semi-autonomy," with young people waiting until they were self-sufficient to set up their own households, marry and have children.

Some interesting facts from their research include the following:

  • Even before the recession, three in 10 white men from 18 to 34 were living at home.
  • Men with a high school and even college degrees are not getting as high paying of jobs as their counterparts in the 1960s and 70s.
  • In 2004, more than 20 percent of men in their 30s were below the poverty level, compared to only 10 percent in 1969.

According to the British Office of National Statistics in 2009, one in three "adult-kids" were still living at home because they could not afford to buy or rent, while a portion also said they were staying at home by choice. The Guardian has more:

In the past, British children have tended to leave home earlier than their European cousins but the latest ONS figures, published today, show that 25% of men aged 25 to 29 now live with their parents. This is almost double the proportion of women in their late 20s (13%) who still live at home. [...]

The lack of jobs is being compounded by changes in the housing market. Even those in work cannot afford to move out of the family home as first-time buyers now face house prices that are, on average, five times average incomes, compared with a multiple of three times 20 years ago.

But they add that these factors only partly explain why people are also postponing forming families and perhaps marriage.

"It is also a reflection of the changing roles of men and women and changing expectations of normative ages for partnership and family formation," say the authors. "It is unclear the extent to which remaining in (or returning to) the parental home is an outcome of choice rather than constraint for these 'emerging adults'."

One can only imagine what the family dynamic would be with this older age group.

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