Loughborough University (Centre for Research in Social Policy)

Financial well-being: Adult children living at home

Programme

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Income

Duration

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Feb 2020 – Apr 2021

Grant Awarded

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£104,000

Project summary

Investigate current and future economic well-being of low-to-middle-income families where adults in their 20s live with their parents.

Context

Most single adults in their twenties now live with their parents, influenced by high housing costs and other factors including changes to Housing Benefit and delays in formalising relationships. This has important implications for family well-being, but research and policy development addressing family living standards has so far focused mainly on families with dependent children.

Living with parents can potentially help young adults to economise and save, but if it prolongs ‘dependence’ on parents it could reduce the pressure to build assets and to achieve financial autonomy. Moreover, for parents on below average incomes, extended responsibility for their sons and daughters can affect their financial well-being. Families on means tested benefits can face deductions for having a ‘non-dependent’ in the household increasing pressure on budgets; and household costs increase.

Project overview

Specific objectives of the research are to:

  • provide an in-depth profile of the extent and circumstances of families where young adults and parents live together;
  • identify implications for the present and future economic well-being and (in)dependence of both parents and young adults in this situation, and the choices, restrictions and pressures they face;
  • identify and develop policy and practice approaches that could potentially better support young adults and parents, and improve their choices.

The research will be in three linked phases: reviewing existing evidence; researching new evidence; and developing policy and practice responses.

The research will involve both stakeholder organisations and young adults and parents themselves in moving from identifying issues to developing solutions. The research itself will interview both young adults and parents (36 in-depth interviews), and their perspectives will inform the formulation of policy and practice responses.