Study: How many adults get by without parents’ help?

  • Most Americans rely on their parents for financial support into adulthood 
  • One-third of adults can be considered completely independent 
  • Others have received some form of assistance from their parents 

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(NewsNation) — Most adults rely on their parents for financial support or a place to live between their late teens and early 40s, according to a study published late last month.

About one-third of adults could be considered completely independent.

The study, published in Sociological Perspectives, challenges the idea that “complete independence is a necessary marker of adulthood,” said report co-author Anna Manzoni, an associate professor of sociology at North Carolina State University.

“Instead, we see a pattern of interdependency that changes over time and appears to be influenced by race and educational background,” Manzoni said in a news release.

Researches identified six categories that people tend to fall into, including complete independence, independence with transitional support, gradual independence, high to low support, extended interdependence, and boomerang.

The largest single category survey respondents (more than 33%) fell under complete independence, meaning they achieved independent finances and living situations in their late teens or early 20s, and have maintained that independence.

The remainder, however, received some amount of financial or housing support from their parents into adulthood.

The report highlighted how much access to resources like education can influence a person’s independence.

“It also makes clear that we need to reevaluate how we think of independence and adulthood, given that only a third of study participants were able to take the Complete Independence pathway that is often presented as being the norm,” Manzoni said.

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