WASHINGTON (AP) — Many of America’s young adults appear to be in no hurry to move out of their old bedrooms.
For the first time on record, living with parents is now the most common arrangement for people ages 18 to 34, an analysis of census data by the Pew Research Center has found.
Nearly one-third of millennials live with their parents, slightly more than the proportion who live with a spouse or partner. It’s the first time that living at home has outpaced living with a spouse for this age group since such record-keeping began in 1880.
A general view of atmosphere at 90sFEST Pop Culture and Music Festival on September 12, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for 90sFEST)
The remaining young adults are living alone, with other relatives, in college dorms, as roommates or under other circumstances.
The sharp shift reflects a long-running decline in marriage, amplified by the economic upheavals of the Great Recession. The trend has been particularly evident among Americans who lack a college degree.
The pattern may be a contributing factor in the sluggish growth of the U.S. economy, which depends heavily on consumer spending. With more young people living with their parents rather than on their own, fewer people need to buy appliances, furniture or cable subscriptions. The recovery from the 2008-09 recession has also been hobbled by historically low levels of home construction and home ownership.
As recently as 2000, nearly 43 percent of young adults ages 18 to 34 were married or living with a partner. By 2014, that proportion was just 31.6 percent.
In 2000, only 23 percent of young adults were living with parents. In 2014, the figure reached 32.1 percent.
The proportion of young adults now living with their parents is similar to the proportions that prevailed from 1880 through 1940, when the figure peaked, Pew found. Yet in those decades, the most common arrangement for young adults was living with a spouse rather than with parents.
“We’ve simply got a lot more singles,” said Richard Fry, lead author of the report and a senior economist at the Pew Research Center. “They’re the group much more likely to live with their parents.”
The typical U.S. woman now marries at 27.1 years old, the typical man at 29.2, according to census data. That’s up from record lows of 20.1 for women and 22.5 for men in 1956.
“They’re concentrating more on school, careers and work and less focused on forming new families, spouses or partners and children,” Fry said of the millennials.
Among young men, declining employment and falling wages are another factor keeping many of today’s 18-to-34-year-olds unmarried, Fry said. The share of young men with jobs fell to 71 percent in 2014, the report found, from 84 percent in 1960 – the year when the proportion of young adults living outside the home peaked.
Incomes have fallen as well: Wages, adjusted for inflation, plunged 34 percent for the typical young man from 2000 to 2014.
Other factors contributing to the trend of living with parents range from rising apartment rents to heavy student-debt loads to longer periods in college.
Many analysts had expected that as the economy improved, younger adults would increasingly move out on their own. That hasn’t happened. Jed Kolko, a senior fellow at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley, says soaring rents are discouraging some millennials from leaving their parents’ homes.
Kolko’s research, based on more recent data, has found that the share of young adults living with their parents in the first quarter of 2016 was essentially unchanged from two years earlier.
Median rents nationwide were surging at a 6 percent annual pace as recently as August, though they have slowed since. In fast-growing cities like San Francisco, Denver, and Portland, Oregon, rents rose last year at a double-digit pace.
Heavier student debt loads have sent more young people back to their parents’ nests, according to research last year by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Other economists aren’t convinced that student debt plays a dominant role. They note that the proportion of young adults without college degrees who live with parents is especially high: Nearly 39 percent of those with only a high school degree were living with a parent in 2014, up from around 26 percent in 2000.
That compares with just 19 percent of young adult college grads living at home in 2014. That figure, though, is up sharply from 11 percent in 2000.
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By Guest Nicole
December 20, 2016
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Compared with the total time spent on social media, use of multiple platforms is more strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults, researchers have found in a national survey. People who report using seven to 11 social media platforms had more than three times the risk of depression and anxiety than their peers who use zero to two platforms, even after adjusting for the total time spent on social media overall.
Compared with the total time spent on social media, use of multiple platforms is more strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults.
Credit: Tim Betler/UPMC
Compared with the total time spent on social media, use of multiple platforms is more strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults, the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health (CRMTH) found in a national survey.
The analysis, published online and scheduled for the April print issue of the journal Computers in Human Behavior, showed that people who report using seven to 11 social media platforms had more than three times the risk of depression and anxiety than their peers who use zero to two platforms, even after adjusting for the total time spent on social media overall.
"This association is strong enough that clinicians could consider asking their patients with depression and anxiety about multiple platform use and counseling them that this use may be related to their symptoms," said lead author and physician Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., director of CRMTH and assistant vice chancellor for health and society in Pitt's Schools of the Health Sciences. "While we can't tell from this study whether depressed and anxious people seek out multiple platforms or whether something about using multiple platforms can lead to depression and anxiety, in either case the results are potentially valuable."
In 2014, Primack and his colleagues sampled 1,787 U.S. adults ages 19 through 32, using an established depression assessment tool and questionnaires to determine social media use.
The questionnaires asked about the 11 most popular social media platforms at the time: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn.
Participants who used seven to 11 platforms had 3.1 times the odds of reporting higher levels of depressive symptoms than their counterparts who used zero to two platforms. Those who used the most platforms had 3.3 times the odds of high levels of anxiety symptoms than their peers who used the least number of platforms. The researchers controlled for other factors that may contribute to depression and anxiety, including race, gender, relationship status, household income, education and total time spent on social media.
Primack, who also is a professor of medicine at Pitt, emphasized that the directionality of the association is unclear.
"It may be that people who suffer from symptoms of depression or anxiety, or both, tend to subsequently use a broader range of social media outlets. For example, they may be searching out multiple avenues for a setting that feels comfortable and accepting," said Primack. "However, it could also be that trying to maintain a presence on multiple platforms may actually lead to depression and anxiety. More research will be needed to tease that apart."
Primack and his team propose several hypotheses as to why multi-platform social media use may drive depression and anxiety:
Multitasking, as would happen when switching between platforms, is known to be related to poor cognitive and mental health outcomes. The distinct set of unwritten rules, cultural assumptions and idiosyncrasies of each platform are increasingly difficult to navigate when the number of platforms used rises, which could lead to negative mood and emotions. There is more opportunity to commit a social media faux pas when using multiple platforms, which can lead to repeated embarrassments. "Understanding the way people are using multiple social media platforms and their experiences within those platforms -- as well as the specific type of depression and anxiety that social media users experience -- are critical next steps," said co-author and psychiatrist César G. Escobar-Viera, M.D., Ph.D., a postdoctoral research associate at Pitt's Health Policy Institute and at CRMTH. "Ultimately, we want this research to help in designing and implementing educational public health interventions that are as personalized as possible."
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