Abstract

This paper provides an in-depth portrait of the nest-leaving process in early adulthood as it emerged in the 1980s. Event histories are used to describe transitions in and out of the parental home during the years from age 15 through age 23. We focus on the role of the “new” forms of living arrangements in the leaving-home process, namely nonfamily living and cohabitation. The results show that the transition to full residential independence is more gradual, with more intermediate steps, than previous studies suggested. Cohabitation is rare as a route out of the parental home, and both nonfamily living and cohabitation lead to much higher return rates than does marriage.

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