Abstract

The growing study of leaving home in young adulthood in the United States has been hampered by data and measurement problems, which are producing a major theoretical confusion about the role of parental resources in influencing young adults’ leaving home. Does high parental income retain young adults in the home or subsidize their leaving (and parental privacy)? This paper uses the 1984 panel of Survey of Income and Program Participation to clarify this issue, and shows that the effects of parental resources differ depending on the route out of the home under consideration (marriage or premarital residential independence). Effects change substantially over the nest-leaving ages, but relatively few differences are found between young men and young women.

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