The effect of parental resources on patterns of leaving home among young adults in the Netherlands*

J. De Jong-Gierveld, A.C. Liefbroer, E. Beekink

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In this paper the process of leaving the parental home among young adults is studied. After a brief historical overview, three main reasons for leaving home are distinguished, viz. leaving home to complete an education, leaving home to start living with a partner, and leaving home to gain more autonomy and independence. Both the timing and the main reason for leaving the parental home is expected to depend on the resources of the young adults' parents. Four classes of parental resources are distinguished, viz. material and non-material resources that can be transferred to young adults, and material and non-material resources that cannot be transferred to young adults. It is hypothesized that high levels of transferable parental resources facilitate the process of leaving home, whereas high levels of non-transferable resources slow down this process. The hypotheses are tested using data from a survey among 583 young adults born in 1961 in the Netherlands. Discrete-time hazard models are used to test the effect of parental resources on the process of leaving home. Most hypotheses, though not all, are supported by the data. High levels of transferable parental resources speed up the process of leaving home for educational and independence reasons, though not for reasons of starting a partner relationship. High levels of non-transferable parental resources slow down the process of leaving home, though only with regard to leaving home in order to gain autonomy and independence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-71
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1991


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