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Flying the coop : why is the move out of home proving unsustainable?

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conference contribution
posted on 01.01.2009, 00:00 authored by Elyse WarnerElyse Warner, Claire Henderson-WilsonClaire Henderson-Wilson, Fiona AndrewsFiona Andrews
Changing social trends indicate that more young Australians are electing to live at home longer. Residing in the parental home is the most common mode of living for those aged in their 20s, with recent data indicating more than 30 per cent decisively remain in this arrangement with their parents.

While there are obviously still those who decide to move out, this housing arrangement seems to be proving unsustainable; many young adults are returning home to reside with their parents after time spent on their own in a trend increasingly referred to as the ‘boomerang’ effect.

This paper reviews the available literature on young adults’ living arrangements, identifying those factors implicated both in the leaving home process and the likelihood a young adult will return home after previously moving out. In highlighting how much of this earlier research has relied on the use of statistical methods, the paper aims to justify the need for the proposed study- a contemporary exploration of generation Y Australians’ experiences of home returning.

The study, guided by an ecological theoretical perspective, will utilise a qualitative methodology to investigate the reasons why young adults are experiencing difficulty sustaining their move to independent living. In-depth interviews will be conducted in Melbourne with young adults aged between 20 and 30 years who currently reside in the parental home after living independently for four months or more. It is anticipated the study sample will include both males and females who are currently engaged in, or have previously completed, tertiary study.

These interviews will be analysed and through the emergent themes, will provide a clearer insight into the ‘boomerang’ generation- a group of young adults who will become increasingly more common in light of the current uncertainty surrounding finances, employment and housing markets. The implications of this research will therefore be significant for those concerned with the future housing decisions of Australian society.



Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference (4th : 2009 : Sydney, N.S.W.)


1 - 14




Sydney, N.S.W.

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[Sydney, N.S.W.]

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Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

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2009, APNHR

Title of proceedings

Proceedings of the 4th Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference 2009

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