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Living with the parents: the purpose of young graduates’ return to the parental home in England

Roberts, Jonathan ORCID: 0000-0003-4827-867X, Noden, Philip, West, Anne ORCID: 0000-0003-2932-7667 and Lewis, Jane (2016) Living with the parents: the purpose of young graduates’ return to the parental home in England. Journal of Youth Studies, 19 (3). pp. 319-337. ISSN 1367-6261

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13676261.2015.1072618


Young graduates in England often return to the parental home after a period of living away during their university studies. Little is known, however, about why they return and how coresidence with parents fits within a life trajectory. This paper reports upon an in-depth cross-sectional qualitative study of young graduates’ coresidence with their parents. It identifies a five-part typology of the purpose of coresidence as perceived by the graduates: a base camp for exploration before settling into adulthood; a launch pad for careers; a savings bank, in particular for future property purchases; a refuge for respite and reflection; and a preferred residence, whether on account of comfort, cultural practice or to support parents. The paper further explores how far these purposes were associated in young adults’ accounts with social structures, individual agency or some combination of these. It concludes that the default understanding of graduates’ return and coresidence as a residual function when other options fail is insufficient. Such a generalisation obscures the different purposes which the return can enable; it overplays some notion of a broken biography rather than the positive contribution of coresidence to graduates’ trajectories towards adulthood and to their life experiences.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2015 10:55
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2024 04:18
Projects: RPG-336
Funders: Leverhulme Trust

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