Young Adults Living at Home May Suffer Professionally

November 20, 2018

Young adults who are given financial help from their parents to live independently instead of living rent-free at their parents’ home tend to do better professionally, according to a study published in August in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Young adults professionally

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Sociologist Anna Manzoni, the study’s author and an associate professor at North Carolina State University, studied about 7,500 young adults between the ages of 18 to 28. College graduates who received money from their parents—for paying bills or for having cash—tended to do better professionally than those who lived at home with their parents.

Graduates who received the highest amount of cash from their parents—$15,000 a year or more—but lived on their own tended to thrive the most in their careers, Manzoni found. Such graduates ranked six points higher on a scale of occupational status than graduates who received little or no financial help from their parents.

Graduates who lived with their parents ranked 10 points lower on the occupational status scale than those who lived on their own.

Why are those who live at home not succeeding as much as their independent peers? Manzoni had several theories, but couldn’t pinpoint any one reason. She told The New York Times one possible reason could be that graduates who received financial help were able to use that money to move to a city to find better job opportunities. She also said that parents who gave directly to graduates may have been in a higher socioeconomic status than parents who just told them they could live at home instead.

“In my experience working with people in their 20s and 30s, the ones who get sums of money are moving forward at much faster paces than the ones who move home,” Mary Beth Storjohann, a financial planner who tends to work with younger adults, told The New York Times. “When you live with your parents, you get comfortable having someone else do your laundry and cook your meals, and you might not feel compelled to move out. You might wait to find the perfect job instead of taking one that could lead you in an unexpected direction.”

The Long-Term Cost When Graduates Move Back Home,” The New York Times (Nov. 17, 2018)