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  • Project contributors: Berrington A, Falkingham J, Stone J,

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

    Longer lives

    Overview

    Objectives
    The key objective of this project was to document and explain changes over the past two decades in young adults' living arrangements. It looked at the trends in living arrangements over the past two decades, and the characteristics of those who remain living in the parental home in their late twenties and early thirties.

    It also investigated how individual, parental and contextual factors determine the timing of leaving the parental home, and the life course experiences that are associated with the likelihood of returning. In addition, the role that social policies play in influencing the ability of young adults' to maintain residential independence was considered.

    Methods
    This quantitative project ran alongside the qualitative work of Heath and Calvert on non-family living among young adults and provided the context for this work. The two projects (quantitative and qualitative) aimed to address inter-related issues regarding living arrangements in young adulthood.

    First, data from the UK Labour Force Survey was used to examine changes over time in living arrangements. The second phase used the same data, but differentiated those young adults living outside of the parental home according to whether they were living in a new family, living alone, or sharing with others outside of a family.In the third phase, data from the British Household Panel Study (BHPS) was used in which young adults are interviewed annually to investigate factors related to leaving and returning to the parental home.

    Findings
    The research showed that living in the parental home has become particularly common for those in their mid-twenties and early thirties. Although women still tend to leave home earlier than men and are less likely to return, gender differences are reducing as more young women enrol in higher education. There has been a shift towards living outside a family on leaving the parental home, which is again related to higher education but also to increased immigration of young adults into the UK. The expansion of higher education has also led to increased returns to the parental home, particularly for young women in their early twenties.

    Economic factors are important for delaying home-leaving, including local house prices as well as individual circumstances such as being unemployed. In terms of returning, experiencing a separation or divorce is a key event, but its effect differs for men and women and for those with and without children. In particular, newly unpartnered mothers are unlikely to return to live with their parents, probably due to reliance on the welfare state, while single, non-resident fathers who have little access to welfare support are the group most likely to return after a partnership ends. These findings may become increasingly important in view of recent policy changes relating to, for example, housing benefit and social housing.

    Publications & Activities

    Gender, Turning Points and Boomerangs: Returning Home in Young Adulthood in Great Britain
    Changing Mobilities and the Fluid Lifecourse of Young Adults seminar event (2015). (The Dome, New Register House, Edinburgh)
    Authors: Stone J,

    Outlining a future research agenda for studies of young adults' transition to residential independence
    New Agendas on Youth and Young Adulthood: Youth Studies Conference 2013 (2013). (University of Glasgow)
    Authors: Berrington A, Stone J,

    The new dynamics of leaving and returning home
    Young adults' housing and independent living: New insights (2012). (Local Government House, London)
    Authors: Stone J,

    Gender differences in returning to the parental home in the UK: The role of social policy
    The 10th European Social Policy Analysis Conference (2012). (Edinburgh)
    Authors: Berrington A, Stone J, Falkingham J,

    Is the boomerang generation of young adults a real phenomenon? Returning home in young adulthood in the UK
    European Population Conference (2012). (Stockholm)
    Authors: Stone J, Berrington A, Falkingham J,

    A multi-level analysis of leaving home in Britain 1991-2007: the role of individual, family and local area factors
    Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) Annual Conference (2011). (London)
    Authors: Stone J, Berrington A,

    The role of higher education in promoting non-family living among young adults in the UK
    CRFR International Conference 2010, Changing Families in a Changing World (2010). (University of Edinburgh)
    Authors: Berrington A, Stone J,

    The changing dynamics of leaving and returning home amongst young adults in Britain
    European Population Conference 2010 (2010). (University of Vienna)
    Authors: Stone J, Berrington A, Falkingham J,

    The changing dynamics of leaving and returning home amongst young adults in Britain
    British Society for Population Studies (BSPS) Annual Conference (2010). (University of Exeter)
    Authors: Stone J, Berrington A, Falkingham J,

    Changing patterns of leaving home and non-family living of young adults in the UK
    British Society for Population Studies Annual Conference (2009). (Brighton)
    Authors: Berrington A, Stone J, Falkingham J,

    The changing living arrangements of young adults in the UK
    Population Trends (2009). 138 27-37
    Authors: Berrington A, Stone J, Falkingham J,