Leaving the parental home in Sweden and Italy

Eva Bernhardt, Stockholm University
Antonella Pinnelli, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"
Francesca Fiori, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"

The paper deals with quantum, timing and determinants of leaving the parental home in Italy and Sweden, considering the gender differences. Sweden has a tradition of early nest leaving and reduced gender differences, Italy has a persistence of late nest leaving and gender differences as regards intensity, timing and determinants. We selected comparable variables from the two surveys. Methods of survival analysis have been carried out to study intensity and timing, and determinants have been tested by means of Cox models. The following results were obtained: Remarkable differences between Italy and Sweden regarding the reasons for leaving the parental home: almost exclusively to form a marital union in Italy, to live on their own, mainly to study at the university of for work reasons in Sweden. As to determinants, earlier nest leaving for women, the oldest cohort, for those residing in smaller towns, and for people with not only biological siblings in Sweden, where parental education dealys children’s leaving only if the reason for leaving is the formation of a union. Being a woman has a much stronger influence on earlier nest leaving in Italy. Moreover, whatever the reason for leaving parental home, the dimension of the family is positively related to earlier leaving, whereas parental education somehow delays the time for leaving. The analysis will be extended by focusing on contextual aspects: the extent of support provided to young people to be able to leave parental home regarding housing, labour market, economic help, with the hypothesis that these factors may explain a substantial part of the observed differences between the two countries.

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Presented in Session 29: Leaving home and family formation