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  • Project contributors: Kulu H, Berrington A, Keenan K, Hale J, McCollum D, Mikolai J, Bell D, Brewer M,

    This Project is part of the following research programme/s:

    Connecting Generations

    Fertility and Family

    Intergenerational exchange


    The past decade has seen a persistent rise in the age at which young adults leave the parental home, as well as an increase in returning home, particularly following the end of university, job loss, and partnership dissolution. Young adults who live away from the parental home are increasingly likely to share accommodation, rather than live alone. Increasingly, residential independence and partnership formation are becoming disconnected from the process of new household formation, with important implications for housing need projections. These changes have occurred over the past decades in response to increasing economic and housing uncertainties. The Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced these trends.

    Event-history analysis and multistate models are applied to data from Understanding Society, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, Next Steps and the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) to examine changes in transitions to adulthood and the causes and consequences of intergenerational co-residence from the perspective of young adults and their parent(s). We investigate differences by socio-economic status, ethnicity and geographical region. We are particularly interested in the role of increasing family complexity and the potential impact of increasing separation and re-partnering on the availability of parents with whom young adults can co-reside. We also examine how intergenerational co-residence inhibits or facilitates successful entry into the labour market, e.g. allowing young adults to take on internships or jobs in areas with high housing costs.

    The experiences of the very youngest cohorts in 'transition to adulthood' are affected by Covid-19 and Brexit. Those who graduated or left school to enter employment in 2019 and 2020 will have entered a labour market affected by both, whilst those at university, or just about to start, will have had their learning interrupted and many will have remained living at home. For both groups, the 'traditional' stepping stones to adulthood will have been affected. We will pay particular attention to understanding the life course trajectories of the 'Class of 2020' and the extent to which young people have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We will exploit administrative data from e.g. the National Pupils Database linked with Understanding Society, Next Steps and the MCS along with linked Census data.

    We are sharing this work with UK and Scottish Parliament Committees, with the aim of directly influencing policy formation. We also work with COFACE and Age Platform Europe to share our research findings and inform change at the European level.

    This research project is jointly led by Professor Hill Kulu and Professor Ann Berrington.