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Young, anchored and free? Examining the dynamics of early housing pathways in Australia


Tomaszewski, W and Smith, JF and Parsell, C and Tranter, B and Laughland-Booy, J and Skrbis, Z, Young, anchored and free? Examining the dynamics of early housing pathways in Australia, Journal of Youth Studies, 20, (7) pp. 904-926. ISSN 1367-6261 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/13676261.2016.1273520


Young people are remaining in the parental home for longer, and returning there more often, before attaining residential independence. In Australia, these patterns have prompted concerns about a ‘boomerang generation’ whose housing aspirations and decisions have either been directly questioned, or viewed as symptomatic of broader affordability issues. Employing a longitudinal perspective, we argue that early residential pathways reflect a mix of stable and dynamic influences involving individuals, their families, and their broader relationships. Using data from a large cohort (n = 2082) of young Australians participating in the ‘Our Lives’ research project, we examine housing pathway formation between the ages of 12/13 and 21/22. Events such as parental union dissolution or partnership formation were found to encourage home leaving, whilst being employed at a younger age and having grown up rurally predicted both leaving and remaining out of home. Close, supportive relationships with family and friends served to ‘anchor’ respondents at home for longer, and parental socioeconomic resources enabled respondents to leave home and return if needed. The findings suggest that early residential independence reflects various factors, not all of which are in young people’s control, and some of which may hinder the longer term sustainability of their living arrangements.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:young adulthood, housing, transition, life course, boomerang generation
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Urban sociology and community studies
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Tranter, B (Professor Bruce Tranter)
ID Code:113810
Year Published:2017 (online first 2016)
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-01-23
Last Modified:2017-11-29

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