The period of young adulthood has transformed dramatically over the past few decades. Prolonged youth has brought concomitant prolonged parenthood.
Several theoretical perspectives e. Parents may benefit via opportunities for generativity with young adult offspring. Furthermore, current patterns may affect future parental aging. As parents incur declines of late life, they may be able to turn to caregivers with whom they have intimate bonds.
Alternately, parents may be less able to obtain such care due to
Implications and multiple generations adult learning changes involving grown children raising their own children later or who have never fully launched. Clinicians will be able to help normalize situations when midlife parents are upset due to involvement with their young adult children. Policy makers may be able to foresee and plan for future issues involving aging parents and midlife children.
Young adulthood has changed dramatically since the middle of the 20th century. As such, the life stage from ages 18 to 30 has shifted from being clearly ensconced in adulthood, to an interim period marked by considerable heterogeneity.
Historically, young people also took circuitous paths in their careers Implications and multiple generations adult learning love interests Keniston, ; Mintz,but a recent U. Census report shows that young people today are less likely to achieve traditional markers of adulthood such as completion of education, marriage, moving out of the parental home or securing a job with a livable wage as they did in the mid to late twentieth century Vespa, Individuals Implications and multiple generations adult learning achieve such markers do so at later ages, and patterns vary by socioeconomic background Furstenberg, Yet, the prolongation of entry into adulthood involves a concomitant prolongation of midlife parenthood; implications of parenting young adult offspring remain poorly understood.
Several theoretical perspectives suggest that parents will be affected by changes in the nature of young adulthood. As such, this article addresses changes that midlife parents experience stemming from shifts in young adulthood. Parental involvement with young adult children has increased dramatically over the past few decades. Parents have more frequent contact with their young adult children than was the case thirty years ago.
Implications and multiple generations adult learning parents have more than one grown child, by inference many grown children had even less frequent contact with their parents. It would be remiss to imply that all midlife parents have frequent contact with their grown children, however, because a small group shows the opposite trend. Similarly, research examining Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT young adults suggests that some parents reject grown children who declare a minority sexuality or gender identity, but this appears to be a relatively rare occurrence.
As such, it seems that LGBT young adults who are likely to be rejected by parents may decide not to tell them about their sexuality.
Rather, divorce, incarceration, and other factors such as addiction or earlier placement in foster care may account for estrangement from a parent figure Hartnett et al. Nevertheless, a significant subgroup of parents may be excluded from increased involvement described here for other parents. Parents also give more support to grown children, on average, than parents gave in the recent past. From the s through the s, parents spent the most money on children during the teenage years.
Indeed, some scholars have suggested that over a third of the financial costs of parenting occur after children are age 18 Mintz, Parents from higher socioeconomic strata provide more financial assistance to adult children Fingerman et al. Yet, this pattern may perpetuate socioeconomic inequalities in the United States, rendering lower SES parents more likely to have lower SES grown children Torche, In addition to financial support, many parents devote time to grown children e.
Young people face considerable demands gaining a foothold in the adult world e. Such nonmaterial support may stem from early life patterns. Lower SES parents may work multiple jobs or face constraints e. It is not clear whether such differences in time persist in adulthood. Rather, the types of nonmaterial support may differ by SES. Research suggests better off parents are more likely to give information and to spend time listening to grown children, and less well-off parents provide more childcare i.
Grown children in better off families are more likely to pursue education, and student status is strongly associated with parental support including time as well as money throughout the world Fingerman et al. Yet, less well-off parents are more likely to coreside with a grown child. Nevertheless, research suggests that across SES strata, midlife parents attempt to support grown children in need. A recent study found that overall, lower SES parents gave as much or more support than upper SES parents, but lower SES young adult children were still likely to receive less support on average i.
Coresidence could be conceptualized as a form of support from parents to grown children; grown children who reside with parents save money and may receive advice, food, childcare or other forms of everyday support. In industrialized nations, rates of intergenerational coresidence have risen in Implications and multiple generations adult learning past few decades. In the United States inintergenerational coresidence became the modal residential pattern for adults aged 18 to 34, surpassing residing with romantic partners for the first time Fry, Rates of coresidence have increased in many European countries as well in the past 30 years, though rates vary by country.
Coresidence is common in Southern European nations e. Coresidence rates in Southern European countries evolved from historical patterns, but also reflect an increase over the past 40 years.
In general, affection between young adults and parents seems to be increasing in the twenty-first century as well. It is not possible to objectively document changes in the strength of emotional bonds due to measurement issues and ceiling effects—most people have reported close ties to parents or grown children across the decades.
Still, it seems intergenerational intimacy is on the rise. In the 20th century in Western societies, marriage was the primary tie. Yet, over 15 years ago, Bengtson speculated that the prominence of multigenerational ties would rise in the 21st century due to changes in family structure e. Intergenerational solidarity theory was developed in the 20th century to explain strengths in intergenerational bonds Bengtson, ; Lowenstein, Solidarity theory is mechanistic in nature, suggesting that positive features of relationships e.
In this regard, we might conceptualize the overall increase in parental involvement as increased intergenerational solidarity. It is less clear whether conflictual or negative aspects of the relationship have changed in the past few decades. As such, it is difficult to track changes in ambivalence across the decades. Nevertheless, one study found that midlife adults experienced greater ambivalence or negative feelings for their young adult children than for their aging parents Birditt et al.
And as I discuss, norms for autonomy contrast current interdependence in this tie, providing fodder for ambivalence. Taken together, these trends suggest that intergenerational ambivalence between midlife parents and grown children also may be on the rise. The model initially pertained to patterns of exchange between generations, but extends to a broader of increased parental involvement.
Drawing on life course theory and other socio-contextual theories, the basic premise of the MISM model is that structural factors e. Scholars interested in ecological contexts of human development have often designated hierarchies or embedding of different types of contexts e.
Yet, economies arise in part from families and culture as well; in
Implications and multiple generations adult learning democracies, policies, and politicians are a reflection of underlying beliefs and values the people who vote as post-election dissection of Presidential voting in the United States suggests. As such, I propose that each of these levels—structural e. Census shows that financial independence is rare for young people today.
Compared to their mid twentieth century counterparts, young people today are more likely to fall at the bottom of the economic ladder with low wage jobs. Further, roughly one in four young adults who live with their parents in the United States i. Thus, factors other than childrearing such as disability, addiction, or life problems seem more likely to account for the 2.
Moreover, the shift toward coresidence with parents is not purely economic—one can imagine a society where young people turn to friends, siblings, or early romantic partnership Implications and multiple generations adult learning deal with a tough economy. Thus, other factors also contribute to these patterns. Public policies play a strong role in shaping relationships between adults and parents in European countries, but may play a lesser role in shaping these ties in the United States.
In European countries, the government provides health coverage and long-term care, and government investments in older adults result in transfers of wealth to their middle generation progeny Kohli, Similar processes occur with regard to midlife parents and young adults in Europe. Differences in programs to support young adults in Nordic countries versus Southern European countries are associated with the type of welfare state; that is, social democratic welfare regimes assist young adults in Nordic countries towards autonomy, whereas conservative continental or familistic welfare regimes encourage greater dependence on families in southern Europe Billari, The coresidence patterns described previously conform to the type of regime.
As such, patterns of parental involvement in Europe seem to be associated with government programs. These patterns are less clear in the United States. Indeed, lack of government support for young adults may help explain many aspects of the intensified bonds.
For example, as college tuition has increased and state and federal funding of education has decreased, parents have stepped in to provide financial help or co-sign loans for young adult students. For example, inwhen the U. Congress debated repealing the Affordable Care Act i. This policy, instigated inseemed to be a reaction to the greater involvement of parents in supporting young adults rather than a Implications and multiple generations adult learning of such involvement.
Related to economic changes, a global rise in parental support of young adults may partially the prolonged tertiary education that has occurred throughout the world i. Similarly, in industrialized nations, young adults are more likely to attend college today than in the past Fingerman, Cheng, et al.
The influence of education on parental involvement has been observed globally. A study of college students in Korea, Hong Kong, Germany, and the United States revealed that, across nations, parents provided advice, practical help, and emotional support to college students at least once a month Fingerman et al. Beginning in the s, competitive rates for long distance telephone calls facilitated contact between young adults and parents who resided far apart. Parents and grown children also may have more opportunities to visit in person.
Residential mobility decreased in the United States from the midth century into the 21st century. Data regarding how far young adults reside from their parents in the United States are not readily available. Census Bureau, As such, parents and grown children may be more likely to reside in closer geographic proximity. Deregulation of airlines in in the United States established the basis for airline competition and declining prices in airfare with concomitant diminished quality of air travel experiencefacilitating visits between parents and grown children who reside at longer distances.
Parents and grown children harbor values, norms or beliefs about how parents and grown children should behave. Shifts in cultural values have also contributed to increased involvement. The cultural narrative regarding young adults and parents in the United States has shifted over the past few decades. As such, the generations were living apart.
Notably, there was not much empirical evidence generational dissension. Generation Y has unique characteristics that affect learning in positive and negative Although these are more long-term considerations, programs can begin by.
interdisciplinary staff, peers) to offer feedback from multiple sources will be. The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning Vol. 6, Num. money. These characteristics are quite different than Generation Y. categories that seem to have a moderate impact on the study respondents (see Table 1).
Positive. A proposed model of adult learning. Display full size Consider learning styles and their implications. The outcome of this phase is the generation of a working hypothesis.