Published: 20 July 2011
Parents wait longer for empty nest – study
Is your child over 18 and still living at home? If so, then UQ invites you to complete a short online survey to assist with new research.
The project is being conducted by psychology honours student Emma Tarrant, who is investigating the attitudes and perceptions of the parents of adult children who still live at home.
Ms Tarrant hopes that by researching parents' roles and perceptions of parenting, she will gain insight about how Australian parents are coping with this phenomenon, and whether additional support may be useful.
Figures show young people are leaving the parental home later than ever before.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2006, 23% of young adults aged between 20–34 were living with their parents compared to 19% in 1986.
“Although there are a number of reasons why young adults are staying at home for longer, there is no denying the impact this may be having on parents, who continue to maintain care giving roles long after their children are legally termed ‘adults' at the age of 18,” Ms Tarrant said.
“Not only do parents have to look after their adult children who are living at home, they may also be looking after their own elderly parents. This means parents are facing multiple care-giving roles which may impact their wellbeing in negative ways.”
Ms Tarrant said her research would explore how these adult children might affect their parents' wellbeing, marriage and other relationships.
“It is important to investigate what kind of effect this delayed developmental phase is having on parents because the way they cope with their children's prolonged dependency will have crucial repercussions,” she said.
Interested parents should visit http://exp.psy.uq.edu.au/youngadults to complete the survey. Participants should have adult children who are currently living at home (this includes children who may have moved out and since returned).
Media: Associate Professor Alan Ralph (07 3365 7290, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kristen Bastian (07 3346 9279, email@example.com)
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