This epidemic is affecting not only our adult children’s lives, but ours as well…. So who is to blame?
Academics and experts have gone beyond saying adult children living at home in their 20s and 30s as just a phase – they’re now calling it a societal phenomenon.
“This is not just an Australian phenomenon. In fact, across the entire Western world we are finding young adult children living with their parents much later than they were 20, 50 years ago,” said associate professor Cassandra Szoeke of the University of Melbourne, reports the ABC.
Professor Szoeke and lead researcher Katherine Burn reviewed 15 years’ worth of academic studies of Boomerang and Failure to Launch children and their parents, with a sample size of more than 2 million people.
Across the Western world, more emphasis is being placed on education so that young people can get a good job – they often stay at home longer because they feel they can’t afford to live out of home while they study.
Many young adults do not believe they can afford to live and study without family support, said the researchers. Also, never-married or divorced adult children are more likely to live at home, and one study found an increased number of unmarried adults could explain the high stay at home rate.
Interestingly, both aspiring full-time workers and those who are unemployed are likely to stay at home.
The most recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the number of young adults moving away from has fallen dramatically.
Professor Szoeke said tension arises when parents suggest the children should leave because of the stigma.
“People have thought if you’re a Boomerang child, it’s a failure. In fact, even the American wording, failure to launch, implies there’s a negative aspect,” she said.
Professor Szoeke said young adults and parents should talk about what the ground rules are, and sort out who is expected to do what.
“I think as a society and culture we have to start talking about the fact that this is so prevalent,” she said.