Back Home and Doing Fine

Brad M. Griffin | Mar 21, 2012

According to a new Pew Research report entitled The Boomerang Generation: Feeling OK About Living with Mom and Dad, young adults ages 25-34 are largely just what the title suggests: back at home and feeling just fine. One third of young adults have had to move back in with their parents (or never moved out) due to finances, and according to the Pew survey nearly 80% are satisfied with the arrangement.

About half pay rent, and nearly 90% claim to help with other household expenses. But the economy is certainly driving this trend, and nearly 8 out of 10 say they just dont have the money to live on their own, or not in the way they want.

This trend contributes to another cultural trend: the rise in multigenerational households. According to the

[caption id=“attachment_13386” align=“alignright” width=“199” caption=“Source: Pew Report, "The Boomerang Generation"”][/caption]

report, A Pew Research analysis of Census Bureau data shows that the share of Americans living in multi-generational family households is the highest it has been since the 1950s, having increased significantly in the past five years. While senior adults moving in with their children (or raising their grandchildren) make up part of that growth, the largest group contributing to the trend is the 18-34 demographic.

This begs an important question: Is this movement back home a concerning indicator of failure to launch, or could it be indicative of a positive cultural shift toward stronger intergenerational connectedness within families?

As critical as weve been as a culture of the young adult who returns to the nest, what are the gains from this movement? What can we affirm theologically about multigenerational households, perhaps even in opposition to the American Dream of early financial success and complete independence?

What have you seen as positive or negative outcomes of this trend toward home?

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books, including 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager, Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and Can I Ask That? Brad and his family live in Southern California, where he serves as Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Mountainside Communion.


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