Leaving the Bank of Mum and Dad: Financial Independence and Delinquency Desistance in Emerging Adulthood

Jessica M. Hill*, Victor R. van der Geest, Arjan A.J. Blokland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Downloads (Pure)



Traditional markers of adulthood, such as marriage and parenthood, are being increasingly postponed by young adults in their 20s. Consequently, young people cite different criteria for achieving an adult status (Arnett in Youth and Society, 29:3–23, [5]). In this study, we focus on one of these, financial independence, examining how it relates to delinquency. We hypothesize that gaining financial independence, i.e., no longer receiving financial support from parents, will lead to a decrease in delinquent behavior but that other factors may play a moderating role in this.

Using longitudinal data from a general population sample of Dutch emerging adults, aged 18–24 years, fixed effects models were run examining the effect of within-person changes in financial independence on self-reported delinquent behavior.

Using lagged models, we found that when participants were financially independent, they reported committing fewer delinquent offences in the subsequent 6-month period compared to when they were financially dependent. This effect was not moderated by individuals’ education or employment status or their living situation.

These results indicate that young people today desist from delinquency in response to gaining financial independence from parents. We discuss the role of financial independence as an important marker of adulthood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-439
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology
Issue number4
Early online date11 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Desistance
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Financial independence
  • Life-course criminology


Dive into the research topics of 'Leaving the Bank of Mum and Dad: Financial Independence and Delinquency Desistance in Emerging Adulthood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this