Marco Tosi (Collegio Carlo Alberto)
16 May 2019 @ 14:00 - 15:30
- Past event
“Boomerang Kids and Parents’ Well-Being: Adaptation, Stressors and Social Norms”
Abstract: Previous research has shown that living with an adult child affects the well-being of older parents. However, little is known about parental adaptation to changes in living arrangements, and concomitant stressors related to children’s unemployment and marital-break-up. Drawing on data from eight waves of the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS 2009-2017), I used fixed effects linear regression models to analyse whether returns to the parental home were associated with changes in parents’ depressive symptoms. The results show that parents experienced an increase in depressive symptoms when a child returned home, and recovered to previous levels of mental well-being in the subsequent year. Returns home by unemployed children were associated with anticipation effects and larger increases in parents’ depressive symptoms, whereas there were no interactions with regard to union dissolution. These findings partly support the hypothesis that returning home is detrimental to older parents, if it reflects a crisis in a child’s life. The results also show that depressive symptoms increased more among parents in higher socio-economic position who typically have more expectations towards their children’s success. However, after a decline in their well-being, parents are able to adapt to boomerang moves and accustom to new family dynamics.