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.

Runaways and Stay-at-Homes

Runaways and stay-at-homes

As the 20th turns toward the 21st century, people concerned about the age when young adults leave home as a problem in our society are most likely to think about delayed nest-leaving—those who stay home “too long.” When the question reaches the popular press, the focus is always on the “shocking” proportions of 23-year-olds, or 27-year-olds, who are living in the parental home.1 They are sometimes referred to as “Peter Pans” because they “won't grow up.” Scholars have taken much the same approach, referring to staying at home as a “young adult syndrome” (Schnaiberg and Goldenberg 1989) and using titles for their studies such as “Still in the Nest” (Cherlin, Scabini, and Rossi 1997b), “Adult Children: A Source of Stress ...

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