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Arland Thornton photo

Leaving the Parental Nest: The Experience of a Young White Cohort in the 1980s

Publication Abstract

Thornton, Arland, Linda C. Young-DeMarco, and Frances Goldscheider. 1993. "Leaving the Parental Nest: The Experience of a Young White Cohort in the 1980s." Journal of Marriage and the Family, 55(1): 216-29.

This analysis provides a dynamic portrait of living arrangements in early adulthood using data capable of capturing the often volatile sequences young people follow in their route out of the parental home. Using event history data from people aged 23 in 1985, the authors calculate precise measures of the amount of time spent in specific living arrangements, together with estimates of the percentage who ever experience each living arrangement. Their results show great heterogeneity in pathways out of the parental home. Young adults fan out in all directions, with about 20-40% experiencing marriage, cohabitation, group quarters, living with housemates, and alone.

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