Clark Poll: Grown kids at home not cramping our style, parents say

_ParentsPoll2_Clark2013 (2) cmpThe new Clark University Poll of Parents of Emerging Adults contradicts the long-held notion that adult children living with their parents are a source of stress and disruption in the household.

The Clark University Poll of Parents of Emerging Adults reveals that the majority of parents of 18- to 29-year-olds insists their lives are not compromised by having their adult children under the same roof. Sixty-one percent of parents described their response to their grown kids living at home as “mostly positive,” compared to only six percent who responded “mostly negative” (the rest reported a mix of positive and negative feelings). The most often reported consequences of having grown kids at home were “feeling closer to them emotionally” (67%) and “having more companionship with them” (66%), compared to just 25% of parents who said that “more conflict” resulted from having the kids at home.

“It turns out there are lots of good things about having emerging adults live at home,” concludes Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, the Clark University Research Professor of Psychology who directed the poll. “In contrast to the stereotype that parents are plotting ways to get rid of them, most parents are happy to have them around. Both parents and kids realize that this is probably the last hurrah, and soon the kids will leave for good.”

Other findings from the Poll:

  • 62% of parents said having grown kids at home means more help with household responsibilities.
  • 66% of parents said the main reason their adult child is living at home is because he/she does not make enough money to live independently.
  • 40% of parents said their adult child lives at home because he/she is in a transitional period.
  • 56% of parents said their adult child lives at home because he/she is focusing on obtaining an education.

The 2013 Clark University Poll of Parents of Emerging Adults was developed by Arnett, who coined the term “emerging adulthood.” He recently co-authored (with Elisabeth Fishel) “When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up: Loving and Understanding Your Emerging Adult” (Workman; May 2013). The book offers insights into how parents and their emerging adult children can navigate this stage in their relationship/development.

Click to read Arnett's commentary, "Is this the last acceptable prejudice?"

Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a small, liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark’s pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark’s faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to complex challenges in the natural sciences, psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University’s motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.