Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gen Y takes longer time to reach “adulthood”.

The following article appeared  in the latest issue of It says that the Generation Y is leaning on parental support for too long before they become self- dependant. This is the emerging situation in the West where the youth usually used to leave home early and try to be on their own. The current economic conditions coupled with prolonged duration of studies have resulted in this changing situation. We, in India call this as family- support and are traditionally of a mindset to play a protective role to the kids for as long as we can. Such kind of reaching out strengthens the family bonding and finds reciprocation when the parents depend on their children in old age. The report reinforces this traditional way of life of Indians as reliable, meaningful and time tested. When the West is inventing the sound principles of family of the East, it is a matter of concern that the youth of today's India are being lured by hollow western life styles.


Gen Y Not Slackers, Just Slow Starters



Jennifer Welsh,


LiveScience Staff Writer

Date: 23 March 2011

Time: 10:07 AM ET


Generation Y is often thought of as a slacker group of young adults who have failed to launch, delaying real careers and families until later in life. But new research suggests their heavy dependence on Mom and Dad might ultimately prepare them to be successful adults.  


Specifically, the study found this generation of "emerging adults" turns to parental support in times of difficultly and as a way to advance their careers in a job market geared toward the highly educated, though most are weaned from such support by their early 30s.


"On a general level, people have concerns about young adults being more dependent than their parents' or grandparents' generations," said researcher Teresa Swartz of the University of Minnesota


In the mid-20th century, most parents could safely assume their children would be full-fledged adults by their mid 20s, economically stable with their own homes and families. Five decades later, half of twenty somethings are still supported by their parents in some capacity at age 24, the study shows.


"People know that it is a challenge to be a young adult and start off your adult life today," Swartz said. "It's taking longer to find their job and move out of their parental home."

A 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 13 percent of parents with grown children say an adult son or daughter had moved back home over the past year for various reasons, including the recession, with most so-called "boomerangers" in the 18 to 34 age group.


The new data came from the Youth Development Study, a survey of young adults. The study has followed a group of ninth-grade students enrolled in St. Paul, Minn., public schools in the fall of 1987; the students and their parents filled out questionnaires every year or two. Swartz analyzed data from 1997, when the participants were 24 years old, through 2005, when they turned 32.


"We were interested in this older period of young adulthood," Swartz told LiveScience. "What defines this giving? Why do they give?"


Most of these parentally dependent twentysomethings have launched into adulthood by their 30s, only about 15 percent still receiving aid of some kind from their parents, the results showed.


Much of this parental support can be thought of in terms of scaffolding, "to build the autonomy or independence of their young adult children," Swartz said. "Parents were more likely to give if the young adult was engaged in building their skills or educational potential, so they would be more marketable when they enter the job market."


In an economy that is more and more dependent on a highly educated work force, the extra years spent attaining higher-level degrees or pursuing low-paid internships and part-time employment can add much to advance a young adult's career, she said.


"With the current recession, people are realizing it's not a matter of discipline or maturity, it's more a matter of labor and housing market. It's quite different than their grandparents' generation," Swartz said. "But, young people eventually get there."


Parents also gave in times of their adult children's need, such as during unemployment, divorce or death of a spouse, stepping in to act as a safety net in times of trouble. This aid often came in the form of housing support, opening the doors of their homes to their young adult children.


The study was published in the April 2011 issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.

You can follow LiveScience staff writer Jennifer Welsh on Twitter @microbelover.



Ashley said...

Really great article - it was interesting to read because I have always been so focused on being as independent as possible. I think it is important for GenY to be more "independent" but we also have an economy to thank for the lack of opportunity right now.


Vasundhara said...

Dear Mami,

The whole phenomenon has both pros and cons to it. While it is good to be with the parents, learn the traditional businesses - what we are coming to observe is mere gathering of more degrees - ending up in the situation of theory without practicals - knowledge without application. We do a great disservice to our youth by encouraging them to remain in our shadows.... they should be nurtured, but not in this manner. They should imbibe the family values but not confused on doing MBA and doing another MBA etc...really there is an ocean of difference between the two. The other sad out come of this is girls waiting until completion of all studies to marry and then bear children - we must never forget that 22-28 are child bearing years - in India the sad trend is that many educated women are through some stroke of general "educational" fate are marrying late, bearing kids late - in turn it is not really in tune with the overall natural cycle - nor the ashrama dharma! True learning is lifelong....but this so called "education" and earning a living must start in a timely manner - so that our youngsters do not end up confused or frustrated. They do not need our crutches - they only need the strong foundation and principles.