Living arrangements and the transition to adulthood

by Frances K. Goldscheider, Julie DaVanzo

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The sharp decline with age in the percent of young adults who live with their parents is usually attributed to other concurrent life-cycle changes in the "transition to adulthood." In this reprint of an article which originally appeared in Demography, v. 22, no. 4, Nov. 1985, the authors investigate this presumption using data tracking high school seniors seven years after graduation. Although marriage and military service strongly reduce residential dependence on parents, other life-cycle changes such as employment and parenthood are only weakly associated with living arrangements and often affect returning home more than leaving. "Leaving home" is often independent of other transition events and should be studied directly to understand recent patterns of family change.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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