This article studies the association between social norms and the timing of leaving home. Although largely overlooked by most recent studies on leaving home, life-course theory suggests that age norms and age grading influence life-course decisions in general and leaving home in particular. We use Fishbein and Ajzen’s model of “reasoned behavior” to integrate this strand of research with the more individualistic view that dominates current thinking. Using data from a Dutch panel survey, we use a Cox regression model with a control for sample selection to estimate the association between perceived age norms and the timing of leaving home. We show that perceived opinions of parents are associated with the actual timing of leaving the parental home but that societal norms and friends’ norms concerning the timing of leaving home are not. In addition, the timing of leaving home is also associated with the perceived costs and benefits of leaving home and with the perceived housing market situation.
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We gratefully acknowledge support from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, and Università Bocconi. Financial support for the Panel Study on Social Integration of Young Adults in the Netherlands (PSIN) has been provided by the Vrije Universiteit, Utrecht University, Tilburg University, and the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute. Earlier versions of this article were presented in seminars at Oxford University; the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany; and the 2001 annual meeting of the Population Association of America. We thank Jennifer Barber, Elizabeth Thomson, and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive remarks on earlier versions of this article.
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Billari, F.C., Liefbroer, A.C. Should i stay or should i go? The impact of age norms on leaving home. Demography 44, 181–198 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1353/dem.2007.0000
- Young Adult
- Housing Market
- Behavioral Control
- Parental Home
- Sample Selection Bias