What Are the Intentions to Leave the Parental Home Composed of? Using the Gender and Generation Survey to Compare Intentions across Europe

Katrin Schwanitz , University of Turku
Francesco Rampazzo, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Agnese Vitali, University of Trento

Comparative research has shown great cross-national differences in the age at leaving home across Europe. To shed new light on why the age at leaving home differs so markedly, we study leaving home intentions and their drivers from a comparative perspective. This helps addressing whether or not cross-national differences depend on personal preferences (measured as attitudes), normative pressure (measured as subjective norms), or structural barriers (measured as perceived behavioural control). We use data on 12 European countries from the first wave of the Generations and Gender Survey, restricting the analysis to young adults (aged 18 – 34) who had never left the parental home for at least three months after age 16 (N = 10,457). We employ multi-group factor analysis and binary logistic regression models to (1) compare the distribution of estimated means, variances, and correlations of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control (towards leaving home) and to (2) analyse the interactions between these three latent factors and country, sex, and age. Initial analyses lend support to a North–West / South–East divide among young adults vis-à-vis leaving home intentions, and to a fairly large variation in the estimated means of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control (towards leaving home) across the 12 countries. Our analyses also overall confirm the relevance of these three factors as drivers for young adults’ intentions to leave the parental home – even when controlled for a host of socio-demographic variables and after having included different interactions (with country, sex, and age).

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 Presented in Session 111. Life Course: Transition to Adulthood