This question pops up everywhere, underlying concerns about “failure to launch” and “boomerang kids.” Two new sitcoms feature grown children moving back in with their parents — “$#*! My Dad Says,” starring William Shatner as a divorced curmudgeon whose 20-something son can’t make it on his own as a blogger, and “Big Lake,” in which a financial whiz kid loses his Wall Street job and moves back home to rural Pennsylvania. A cover of The New Yorker last spring picked up on the zeitgeist: a young man hangs up his new Ph.D. in his boyhood bedroom, the cardboard box at his feet signaling his plans to move back home now that he’s officially overqualified for a job. In the doorway stand his parents, their expressions a mix of resignation, worry, annoyance and perplexity: how exactly did this happen?
It’s happening all over, in all sorts of families, not just young people moving back home but also young people taking longer to reach adulthood overall. It’s a development that predates the current economic doldrums, and no one knows yet what the impact will be — on the prospects of the young men and women; on the parents on whom so many of them depend; on society, built on the expectation of an orderly progression in which kids finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and eventually retire to live on pensions supported by the next crop of kids who finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and on and on. The traditional cycle seems to have gone off course, as young people remain untethered to romantic partners or to permanent homes, going back to school for lack of better options, traveling, avoiding commitments, competing ferociously for unpaid internships or temporary (and often grueling) Teach for America jobs, forestalling the beginning of adult life.
I think there a lot of factors going on. Only time will tell, imo, what are the most pervasive factors
Well, the current economic situation can't have anything to do with it, right?
No amount of gumption can combat a complete lack of opportunity in the professional world, no sense of prideful rugged individualism can offer refuge from being one of the millions of valueless automatons struggling for a place in a society that has burned its bridges and sunk its fortunes. Its a lot easier to blame the players then to examine the way that the game board has changed
“Hours worked” is recognized as a fundamental measure in applied economics, and trends over time in hours worked by U.S. workers have been carefully documented. Time use associated with education attainment has received less attention. We find that full-time college students in 1961 devoted 40 hours per week to academics, whereas full-time students in 2004 invested about 27 hours per week. Declines were extremely broad-based and are not easily accounted for by framing effects or changes in the composition of students or schools. Study time fell for students from all demographic subgroups, within race, gender, ability, and family background, overall and within major, for students who worked in college and for those who did not, and the declines occurred at 4-year colleges of every type, size, degree structure, and level of selectivity.