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Leaving mum alone? The effect of parental divorce on childrenís leaving home decisions

Author

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  • Letizia Mencarini
  • Elena Meroni
  • Chiara Pronzato

Abstract

There is a growing literature considering the relationship between parental divorce and childrenís life-course patterns. However, there is no general consensus on whether parental separation accelerates or postpones childrenís transition to adulthood. The aim of this paper is to add to this literature by analyzing the effect of parental divorce on the timing of nest-leaving of young adults. After providing descriptive findings using the recent Gender and Generations Survey (GGS) for five European countries (France, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Russia), we assess the extent to which the associations between divorce and nest-leaving timing is masked by different effects. First, do children of divorced parents develop different characteristics (e.g., human capital construction and socialization) which in turn make them leave the parental home at a different rate? Secondly, do children of divorced people leave the parental home at a different age because of the new family structure? Our findings show that children who experienced divorce leave home at a faster rate, but the last child in the household ñ who would leave the mother alone ñ delays his/her departure.

Suggested Citation

  • Letizia Mencarini & Elena Meroni & Chiara Pronzato, 2011. "Leaving mum alone? The effect of parental divorce on children√≠s leaving home decisions," Working Papers 045, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  • Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:045
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.dondena.unibocconi.it/WorkingPapers/Dondena_WP045.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kathleen E Kiernan, 1997. "The Legacy of Parental Divorce: Social, economic and demographic experiences in adulthood," CASE Papers case01, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    2. William Axinn & Arland Thornton, 1996. "The influence of parents’ marital dissolutions on children’s attitudes toward family formation," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 33(1), pages 66-81, February.
    3. Sara McLanahan, 1988. "Family structure and dependency: Early transitions to female household headship," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(1), pages 1-16, February.
    4. Helmut Rainer & Thomas Siedler, 2009. "O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Effects of Having a Sibling on Geographic Mobility and Labour Market Outcomes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(303), pages 528-556, July.
    5. Andrew Cherlin & Kathleen Kiernan & P. Chase-Lansdale, 1995. "Parental divorce in childhood and demographic outcomes in young adulthood," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(3), pages 299-318, August.
    6. Arnstein Aassve & Gianni Betti & Stefano Mazzuco & Letizia Mencarini, 2007. "Marital disruption and economic well-being: a comparative analysis," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(3), pages 781-799.
    7. Fiona Steele & Wendy Sigle-Rushton & Øystein Kravdal, 2009. "Consequences of family disruption on children’s educational outcomes in norway," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(3), pages 553-574, August.
    8. Francesco C. Billari & Dimiter Philipov & Pau Baizán Munoz, 2001. "Leaving home in Europe: the experience of cohorts born around 1960," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    9. Alison Aughinbaugh & Charles Pierret & Donna Rothstein, 2005. "The impact of family structure transitions on youth achievement: Evidence from the children of the NlSY79," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(3), pages 447-468, August.
    10. Nan Astone & Sara McLanahan, 1994. "Family structure, residential mobility, and school dropout: A research note," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(4), pages 575-584, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ainhoa Aparicio-Fenoll & Veruska Oppedisano, 2016. "Should I stay or should I go? Sibling effects in household formation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 1007-1027, December.
    2. Marco Tosi, 2017. "Age norms, family relationships, and home leaving in Italy," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 36(9), pages 281-306, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Generations and Gender Survey; GGS; divorce; living home; life-course patterns; France; Georgia; Hungary; Italy; Russia;

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