'Institutionalise adolescence': When adults don't leave home

ARE you finding that more and more young people are staying at home for longer these days?

Well, it's not just you - times have changed.

In days past, young people were eager to move out of home, but these days, statistics show that millennials are choosing to stay under their parent's roof.

In 2017, the Australian Bureau of Statistics found more than half of Australians aged between 18 to 24 still live with their parents.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle said the issue had come to head in a "pretty short period of time".

"Life stages have changed so we've got more younger people than ever, not only finishing school, but going on to tertiary study," he told 3AW Radio.

"They're being at home longer… But because of that they're getting married later, they're starting their own families later.

"It's all changed in a pretty short period of time."

While there are factors to stay living at home - rising housing costs, debt - McCrindle said that some young adults were taking advantage of the situation, spending their savings on social outings and travelling.

And McCrindle warned that the longer the child stayed at home, the more they drifted from taking control of their own life.

"It certainly comes with unintended consequences," he said. "The goal of adolescence is to move people from dependent to independent as they launch out as adults.

"If we institutionalise adolescence, if they stay too long at home, looked after, funded by others, on the education conveyor-belt, it can remove their own sense of agency and ability to take charge of their own life. That dependency it can create can be a challenge."

It's safe to say that times have changed, some things for the better and some for the worse.

Young people will have to adapt and find the best way for them to live.


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