Young adults living at home less likely to be ‘thriving’, new study finds

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, February 15, 2014

Not only are more and more young Americans finding themselves back on their parents’ couches, but they’re less likely to be thriving in their lives than their independent-living peers, according to a Gallup study released Friday.

The study found that 57 percent of adults aged 24-34 consider themselves to be “thriving” in life, compared to just 51 percent of their peers living at home. By the same token, 48 percent of young adults living at home consider themselves to be “struggling,” along with 42 percent of their peers living outside the family home. Only 1 percent of each group reported that they were “suffering.” Marital status, employment, educational attainment and other demographic factors were accounted for in the findings.

Gallup calculated the three classifications – thriving, struggling and suffering – by compiling data on how young adults rated their current and future lives on a ladder scale from 0-10 based upon the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. To be classified as thriving, an individual must rate their current lives a 7 or higher on the scale, and their lives in five years as an 8 or higher.

While unstated, the poll’s findings present a compelling quandary: Living at home – which many young adults do while figuring out their next steps – may actually be holding them back from getting ahead as well as change their perceptions of where they stand in life.

Living at home as an adult also has an impact on one’s well-being, according to Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. According to the study, young adults living at home reported that their well-being was slightly lower than that of those living independently, 63.73 percent to 65.36 percent (Individuals with a 100 percent well-being are perfectly content with their lives).

Those living on their own generally scored higher when it came to physical health, life evaluation, healthy behaviors and basic access to things promoting health living. Incidentally, those living at home but working scored marginally better on the work environment index than those not living at home.

Gallup surveyed 4,521 adults nationwide between the ages of 18 and 34 via telephone from Aug. 7-Dec. 29, 2013 as part of its Daily Tracking study. The margin of error for the study is +/- 1 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. 

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