A Quarter of Young Adults Don’t Have a Relationship With at Least One Parent
By Aaron Earls
In an age of helicopter parents, some are flying solo when their children reach adulthood.
Recent research shows 24 percent of Americans aged 25 to 32—7.9 million young adults—lack an active relationship with one or both parents.
The researchers note the lack of a parental figure is linked to other disadvantages in young adulthood, such as lower levels of education, poorer health, and more symptoms of depression.
Dads are the ones most likely to be missing. Among young adults, 20 percent say they have no father figure, while 6 percent say they have no mother figure. Some have no relationship with either parent.
The most common reason young adults didn’t have a relationship with their father is either his death (9 percent) or never having had a father figure (7 percent). For those without a mother, it was mostly because she died (5 percent).
Young adults are four times as likely to be estranged from their father as their mother.
Sons are no more likely than daughters to lack ties to one or both parents, according to a Pew Research report of the study
Ethnicity is a factor, however. Those missing a relationship with at least one parent are more likely to be black than white.
This comes at a time when young adults spend longer living with their parents than young people did in previous generations.
For the first time in more than 130 years, those aged 18 to 34 are slightly more likely to live in their parents’ home than to live with a spouse, according to a Pew Research analysis of 2014 census data.
In 2014, 32.1 percent of young adults lived in their parents’ home, while 31.6 lived with a spouse or partner in their own household. That is a dramatic difference from 1960, when 62 percent were married or cohabiting in their own home and 20 percent were still at their parents’ house.
Using census data from 2016, Pew also found millennials are more likely than previous generations to be living at home with their parents past typical college years.
While 15 percent of 25- to 35-year-old millennials were living with parents in 2016, only 10 percent of Gen Xers were doing the same in 2000, 11 percent of late baby boomers in 1990, 8 percent of early boomers in 1981, and 8 percent of the silent generation in 1964.
Using credit report data, Pew also reported the median length of time of young adults spent living with their parents grew by six months between 2005 and 2013.
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.