Skip to main content

Young Adults Living at Home: Independence, Intimacy, and Intergenerational Relationships in Shared Family Spaces

Part of the Geographies of Children and Young People book series (GCYP,volume 5)

Abstract

This chapter is concerned with young people’s changing patterns of home leaving. Around the world young people are delaying the process of moving out of the parental home and are living with family for much longer periods into early adulthood. There are a number of reasons for this transformation; principally it reflects the shifting experience of adulthood and independence as well as changes to family formation and employment for young adults. More than this however, changing patterns of home leaving among young adults are suggestive of transformations within intergenerational relationships and what it means to feel “at home” during young adulthood. As young people delay leaving home, they share their home space with parents and wider family well into adulthood, and this has implications for intergenerational intimacies as well as individual identities. Negotiating shared family space can be a complex and emotionally charged endeavor, not least for young adults who have previously lived away from home only to “boomerang” back at a later date. This phenomenon, studies suggest, is a growing trend in the Minority World. Accordingly, this chapter brings together literatures on changing patterns of home leaving, the meaning and experience of being “at home” for children and young adults, and the emergence of boomeranging or “homecomings.”

Keywords

  • home leaving
  • boomeranging
  • graduates
  • intergenerational support
  • sexuality
  • home
  • higher education

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Aquilino, W. S. (1991). Predicting parents’ experiences with co-resident children. Journal of Family Issues, 12, 323–342.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Aquilino, W. S., & Supple, K. R. (1991). Parent-child relations and parents’ satisfaction with living arrangements when adult children live at home. Journal of Marriage and Family, 53, 13–28.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2009). Home and away: The living arrangements of young people. Australian Social Trends 4102.0. http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/subscriber.nsf/LookupAttach/4102.0Publication30.06.096/$File/41020_Homeandaway.pdf

  • Becker, S. O., Bentolila, S., Fernandes, A., & Ichino, A. (2005). Youth emancipation and perceived job insecurity of parents and children. Centre for Economic Policy Discussion Paper No. 5338, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Berrington, A., & Stone, J. (2013). Outlining a future research agenda for studies of young adults’ transitions to residential independence. ESRC Centre for Population Change, 25pp. (ESRC Centre for Population Change Working Paper Series 38).

    Google Scholar 

  • Biggart, A., & Walther, A. (2006). Coping with yo-yo transitions. Young adults’ struggle for support, between family and state in comparative perspective. In C. Leccardi & E. Ruspini (Eds.), A new youth? Young people, generations and family life (pp. 41–62). Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blunt, A., & Dowling, R. (2006). Home. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brannen, J. (2006). Cultures of intergenerational transmission in four-generation families. The Sociological Review, 54(1), 133–154.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bynner, J. (2005). Rethinking the youth phase of the life-course: The case for emerging adulthood? Journal of Youth Studies, 8(4), 367–384.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Christie, H., Munro, M., & Rettig, H. (2002). Accommodating students. Journal of Youth Studies, 5(2), 209–235.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Cobb-Clark, D. A. (2008). Leaving home: What economics has to say about the living arrangements of young Australians. The Australian Economic Review, 41(2), 160–176.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Coles, B. (1995). Youth and Social Policy. London: UCL Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Connidis, I. A. (2014). Age relations and family ties over the life course: Spanning the macro-micro divide. Research in Human Development, 11(4), 291–308. doi:10.1080/15427609.2014.967050.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Daly, K. (2003). Family theory versus theories families live by. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65(4), 771–784.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • du Bois-Reymond, M. (1998). “I don’t want to commit myself yet”: Young people’s life concepts. Journal of Youth Studies, 1(1), 63–79.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Einesdottir, A. (2011). “Marriage” and the personal life of same-sex couples. In V. May (Ed.), Sociology of personal life. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Elder, G. H., Jr. (1991). Lives and social change. In W. R. Heinz (Ed.), Theoretical advances in life course research (pp. 58–86). Weinheim: Deutscher Studien Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Finch, J., & Mason, J. (1993). Negotiating family responsibilities. London: Routledge.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Finch, J., & Mason, J. (2000). Passing on: Kinship and inheritance in England. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Finn, K. (2015). Personal life, young women and higher education: A relational approach to student and graduate experiences. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Fjune, H. H., Ytterhus, B., & Almvik, A. (2009). How children with parents suffering from mental distress search for “normality” and avoid stigma. Childhood, 16(4), 461–477.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ford, J., Rugg, J., & Burrows, R. (2002). Conceptualising the contemporary roles of housing in the transition to adult life in England. Urban Studies, 39(13), 2455–2467.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Furlong, A., & Cartmel, F. (1997). Young people and social change: Individualisation and late modernity. Buckingham/Philadelphia: Open University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Galland, O. (1991). Sociologie de la jeunesse. L’entrée dans la vie, Armand Colin, Paris.

    Google Scholar 

  • Goldscheider, F., & Goldscheider, C. (1999). The changing transition to adulthood: Leaving and returning home. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gorman-Murray, A. (2014). Twentysomethings and twentagers: Subjectivities, spaces and young men at home. Gender, Place and Culture. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2013.879100.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heath, S. (2004). Peer-shared households, quasi-communes and neo-tribes. Current Sociology, 52(2), 161–179.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Heath, S. (2008). Housing choices and issues for young people in the UK. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. http://www.youthpolicy.org/library/wp-content/uploads/library/2008_Housing_Choices_Issues_Young_People_UK_Eng.pdf. Accessed June 2014.

  • Heath, S., & Calvert, E. (2013). Gifts, loans and intergenerational support for young adults. Sociology, 47(6), 1120–1135.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Heath, S., & Kenyon, L. (2001). Single young professionals and shared household living. Journal of Youth Studies, 4(1), 83–100.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Holdsworth, C. (2009). “Going away to uni”: Mobility, modernity and independence of English higher education students. Environment and Planning A, 41(8), 1849–1864.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Holdsworth, C., & Morgan, D. (2005). Transitions in context: Leaving home, independence and adulthood. Buckinghamshire: Open University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leathwood, C., & Read, B. (2008). Gender and the changing face of higher education: A feminized future? Buckinghamshire: Open University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mallett, S. (2004). Understanding home: A critical review of the literature. The Sociological Review, 52(1), 62–89.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mannay, D. (2013). “Keeping close and spoiling” revisited: Exploring the significance of “home” for family relationships and educational trajectories in a marginalised estate in south Wales. Gender and Education, 25(1), 91–107.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mason, J. (2004). Personal narratives, relational selves: Residential histories in the living and telling. Sociological Review, 52(2), 162–179.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mitchell, B. A. (1998). Too close for comfort? Parental assessments of “boomerang kid” living arrangements. The Canadian Journal of Sociology, 23(1), 21–46.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Mitchell, B. A. (2006). The boomerang age: Transitions to adulthood in families. New Brunswick: Aldine-Transaction.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mitchell, B. A. (2010). Happiness in midlife parental roles: A contextual mixed methods approach. Family Relations, 59, 326–339.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Molgat, M. (2007). Do transitions and social structures matter? How “emerging adults” define themselves as adults. Journal of Youth Studies, 10(5), 495–516.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Moore, B. (1984). Privacy: Studies in social and cultural history. New York: Sharpe.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morgan, D. H. J. (1996). Family connections: An introduction to family studies. Cambridge: Polity Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Office for National Statistics. (2014). Young adults living with parents, 2013. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/family-demography/young-adults-living-with-parents/2013/sty-young-adults.htm

  • Overlien, C., & Hyden, M. (2009). Children’s actions when experiencing domestic violence. Childhood, 16(4), 476–496.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Saunders, P., & Williams, P. (1988). The constitution of the home: Towards a research agenda. Housing Studies, 3(2), 81–93.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Schnaiberg, A., & Goldenberg, S. (1989). From empty nest to crowded nest: The dynamics of incompletely-launched young adults. Social Problems, 36(3), 251–269.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Sibley, D. (1995). Geographies of exclusion: Society and difference in the West. London: Routledge.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Stone, J., Berrington, A., & Falkingham, J. (2014). Gender, turning points and boomerangs: Returning home in young adulthood in Great Britain. Demography, 51(1), 257–276.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • U.S. Census Bureau. (2013). America’s families and living arrangements: 2012. http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p20-570.pdf

  • Valentine, G. (1993). (Hetero)sexing space: Lesbian perceptions and experiences of everyday spaces. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 11, 395–413.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Valentine, G. (2002). Queer bodies and the production of space. In D. Richardson & S. Seidman (Eds.), Handbook of lesbian and gay studies. London: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Valentine, G., & Hughes, K. (2012). Shared space, distant lives? Understanding family and intimacy at home through the lens of internet gambling. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 37(2), 242–255.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Vanderbeck, R. M. (2007). Intergenerational Geographies: Age Relations, Segregation and Re-engagements geography Compass, 1(2): 200–221.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Waitt, G., & Gorman Murray, A. (2007). Homemaking and mature age gay men “down-under”: Paradox, intimacy, subjectivities, spatialities and scale. Gender, Place and Culture, 14(5), 569–584.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Wardhaugh, J. (1999). The unaccommodated woman: Home, homelessness and identity. The Sociological Review, 47(1), 91–109.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Wilson, S., Houmøller, K., & Bernays, S. (2012). “Home, and not some house”: Young people’s sensory construction of family relationships in domestic spaces. Children’s Geographies, 10(1), 95–107.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Wyn, J., Lantz, S., & Harris, A. (2012). Beyond the “transitions” metaphor: Family relations and young people in late modernity. Journal of Sociology, 48(1), 3–22.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kirsty Finn .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Singapore

About this entry

Cite this entry

Finn, K. (2016). Young Adults Living at Home: Independence, Intimacy, and Intergenerational Relationships in Shared Family Spaces. In: Punch, S., Vanderbeck, R., Skelton, T. (eds) Families, Intergenerationality, and Peer Group Relations. Geographies of Children and Young People, vol 5. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-4585-92-7_17-1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-4585-92-7_17-1

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Singapore

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-4585-92-7

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Social SciencesReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences