Does your family push adult children to leave the nest?
Many families believe that "leaving the nest" is a rite of passage for young adults, and that good parents encourage their grown-up children to make their own way in the world.
Although young people who return home after living away from their parents for university, college or work have been dubbed part of "generation boomerang" and other vaguely critical terms, some say parents should meet them with open arms.
Greg Kaplan, an economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has argued that the option to return home can be an important advantage for young people who are struggling. The CBC Doc Zone documentary "Generation Boomerang" explores what happens when adult children won't leave the roost. (CBC)
His research, which was published this month in the Journal of Political Economy, tracked the living arrangements of 1,500 young men born between 1980 and 1984.
Nearly 40 per cent of those surveyed had returned home for at least one month after moving out.
That number was higher among young men who had a period of unemployment. They were about 63 per cent more likely to come back home in the three months after losing their jobs.
"Intuitively, it makes sense that people move home after an employment shock," said Kaplan, the study's author. "We've seen a lot of anecdotal evidence of this during the latest recession, but there hadn't been much hard data on how common it is or what the effects might be."
Kaplan found that coming home is an effective buffer against economic hardship. Those who lost a job and later moved back home had essentially the same earnings in later years as people who had never lost a job at all.
Those living at home also have more space to look for a job that offers higher future earning potential.
"If you're living at home, you might be able to wait for these better opportunities," he said. "But if you're on your own and need to pay rent, you need a decent-paying job quickly."
Kaplan's study was limited to men who did not go to college, but he sees similar patterns in the broader population. His study is titled "Moving Back Home: Insurance against Labor Market Risk."
This may be a tough pill to swallow for parents who believe they're coddling their kids if they allow them to come home, or that the struggles that come with independence are simply a part of life.
Does your family frown upon, actively discourage or outright forbid adult children to live at home? Or is the concept that young people should leave the nest foreign to you?
Can multi-generational homes be a long-term arrangement, do you think? Why or why not?
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' replies.)
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