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The Family Environment and Leaving the Parental Home

Barbara A. Mitchell, Andrew V. Wister and Thomas K. Burch
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 51, No. 3 (Aug., 1989), pp. 605-613
DOI: 10.2307/352160
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352160
Page Count: 9
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The Family Environment and Leaving the Parental Home
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Abstract

This study tests a set of hypotheses relating key aspects of the family environment to the timing of home-leaving among youths. A central research question is whether youths living in stepfamilies, single-parent families, and those with two biological parents display different patterns of leaving the parental home. The data used for this study were drawn from the 1984 Family History Survey collected by Statistics Canada on the timing of home-leaving, marriage, divorce, and remarriage, as well as a number of important sociodemographic variables. The total sample includes 14,004 respondents between the ages of 18 and 64. A multivariate analysis was performed on a subset of the data with multiple classification analysis. The results of the data analysis support the central hypothesis that exposure to step- and single-parent family types promotes earlier home-leaving. Number of children in the family, sex of the child, and region also arose as important predictors of age at final home-leaving. Contrary to the hypothesis, socioeconomic status of the family (measured by education) did not surface as a significant factor.

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