• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book examines the reasons why children ultimately leave home to live on their own and how the pattern has changed throughout the 20th century. The authors make use of data from the National Survey of Families and Households to: construct patterns for when children leave home; and establish the most important criteria for leaving home amongst different groups in the United States - men, women, blacks, hispanics, whites, and different religious groups and social classes.

Back to the Nest
Back to the nest

Leaving home is a fundamental life course transition, but it is nevertheless highly volatile. It is unlike men's work-related transition, which is typically portrayed as a transformation from student to full-time worker that lasts until retirement or death, and unlike women's transition to motherhood, which lasts at least until the children are grown. The dimension of the transition to adulthood that involves moving out of the parental home rarely has this durable character. Many who leave come back to live in their parental home.

Previous Research on Returning to the Nest

Although “How many return?” is frequently asked by journalists (and parents), the answers have been few and far between. Only a small number of studies have assessed rates of ...

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