Marco Tosi

Social norms and intergenerational co-residence in Italy

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: home-leaving, age norms, co-residence, young adults, transi- tion to adulthood.

Previous research has examined social and economic factors associated with young adults’ decision to leave the parental home. However, only few studies have investigated the role of social norms in home-leaving decision. The present study focuses on the perceived norm about the right age for leaving the family nest and young adults’ actual behaviours. Based on data from the survey Criticità dei percorsi lavorativi in un’ottica di genere (ISTAT) 2003-2007, the results show that in Italy perceived norms are structured by sex, education and geographical area. Based on these findings, I created different social groups in which perceived norms for leaving home are shared. Individual deviation from the within-group norm is associated with home-leaving behaviour in a curvilinear way: young adults who are too young to leave the family nest tend to stay in the family of origin, whereas there are no associations among children, particularly daughters, who perceive themselves as too old to stay at home. In Italy, age norms in terms of «I am too young leave the parental home» are associated with leaving-home behaviours. Among daughters, the association between age norms and home-leaving behaviour is, in part, explained by individual economic position and mothers’ disapproval toward children’s residential independence.

Article first page

Article first page