The [Adult] Kids Are Alright [Mostly]
Jim LiebeltJim Liebelt's Blog
- 2013 May 07
Today's young adults may bloom slowly, but they are doing something right: For the most part, they're pleasing their parents, a new survey finds.
The nationwide poll of 1,029 parents whose children are ages 18 to 29 paints "a very positive picture of how they view their kids and get along with them," says poll director Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a research professor in psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.
Seventy-three percent report "mostly positive" relationships with their kids, and 86% name their kids as a "source of enjoyment" – outpacing spouses, pets and hobbies.
The poll included a nationally representative sample of parents with an average age of 52. It found:
• 64% say their children are not a source of stress.
• 40% are "not at all concerned" that their children will ever find stable jobs; 18% say that's already happened.
• 38% have grown children living at home, and 61% of them say it's a "mostly positive" experience.
• 56% of parents are in contact with kids every day or almost every day.
It's not all rosy: 42% of parents say money is a source of conflict in the parent-child relationship. Though 52% say they consider their children adults, 34% say that's true in some ways, but not others; 15% say their kids are not adults.
When asked about the general trend of young people taking longer to reach adulthood, the parents are less positive than they are about their own kids: 44% say it is both positive and negative, 43% say it is negative, and 13% say it is positive.