Young People Leaving Home in Australia: The trend towards independence

Australian Family Formation Project Monograph No 9


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Content type
Research report

December 1987

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This study was based on a 1981/82 survey carried out by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, their Family Formation Project. During the analysis an attempt was made to compare the information from this Project with two surveys carried out in Melbourne during 1971 and 1977 by the Department of Demography at the Australian National University as part of its Australian Family Formation Project.

The monograph is about children leaving home - about why they leave, how old they are when they leave, where they go, who they live with, whether or not they return and why they return. It is also about the influence of different background factors - family, socioeconomic and geographic - on why and when they leave, and the extent that their parents' attitudes influence and are influenced by their leaving home behaviour. The existence of stress and conflict during the leaving home transition is explored; so too are the role of education, economic activity, birth order, family size and the life cycle experience of parents. Background influences investigated include religiosity, birthplace, father's occupation, mother's workforce participation, type of school attended, residential moves during childhood, and number of parents. Gender differences are commented on. Appendices list the questions asked in the three surveys relating to children leaving home.

Australian Family Formation Project Monograph no. 9 


Australian Family Formation Project Monograph No.9