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Parenthood and Leaving Home in Young Adulthood


With increases in nonmarital fertility, the sequencing of transitions in early adulthood has become even more complex. Once the primary transition out of the parental home, marriage was first replaced by nonfamily living and cohabitation; more recently, many young adults have become parents before entering a coresidential union. Studies of leaving home, however, have not examined the role of early parenthood. Using the Young Adult Study of the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (n = 4,674), we use logistic regression to analyze parenthood both as a correlate of leaving home and as a route from the home. We find that even in mid-adolescence, becoming a parent is linked with leaving home. Coming from a more affluent family is linked with leaving home via routes that do not involve children rather than those that do, and having a warm relationship with either a mother or a father retards leaving home, particularly to nonfamily living, but is not related to parental routes out of the home.

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Fig. 1


  1. 1.

    At least within the limits of their "habitus" (internalized structuring structure) and the "field" in which they find themselves (Bourdieu 1980).


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Funding for this research was provided under Grant P01-HD045610 to Cornell University and Center Grant R24-HD041041 to the Maryland Population Research Center from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

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Correspondence to Frances K. Goldscheider.

Additional information

Sally C. Curtin—formerly affiliated at the University of Maryland.

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Goldscheider, F.K., Hofferth, S.L. & Curtin, S.C. Parenthood and Leaving Home in Young Adulthood. Popul Res Policy Rev 33, 771–796 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11113-014-9334-9

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  • Nestleaving
  • Parent–child relationships
  • Parenthood
  • Transition to adulthood