This entry describes the postparental stage of life-span development. This stage, sometimes referred to as the empty nest stage, refers to the developmental period of midlife when children are grown and no longer live at home. There is no consensus in the literature as to when the empty nest stage of life-span development ends, though most longitudinal research focuses on the empty nest as a period of transition during midlife. The empty nest transition includes the launching phase when children are preparing to leave the home, the period where one or more children have left the home, and the few years following the departure of all children from the home. This transition has far-reaching effects on the parents who may experience both positive and negative ...

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