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Between children and parents: Housing (in)dependence and “growing up”

Author(s): Dragišić-Labaš Slađana | Ljubičić Milana

Journal: Sociologija
ISSN 0038-0318

Volume: 54;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 263;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: the youth | housing situation | parents | separation | (dis)functionality

In this paper we explore the relationship between financial and residential independence of young people and some aspects of their psychological separation from parents. Namely, the adequate psychological separation of the youth from their parents is affected by the characteristics of family dynamics as a whole, by family narratives, and also by the ecosystem conditions (opportunities) for the financial and housing independence from parents. In order to examine these findings, which have been confirmed almost without exception in the foreign literature, we bring young people who live with their parents into the focus of this study, comparing them with their peers who have become independent in this respect. The analysis included a total of 1627 respondents aged 19-35 years, 909 of whom lived with their parents. We were interested in whether there were any significant differences in terms of statistics between these two diverse housing categories of respondents, considering material possibilities of the physical separation and some aspects of psychological separation from parents. These are: emotional, conflicting, and functional independence, and lack of privacy in the family. We obtained the following findings: there are clear differences in some aspects of psychological separation among those young people who continue living at their parents' home and those who chose (had a possibility of) physical separation. These findings must be interpreted from a broader, ecosystem perspective, in anticipation of the possible implications of the overall (non)independence of young people for their life outcomes.
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