Young Adults and the Extension of Economic
Published by the National Family and Parenting
This paper looks at a range of research and statistical evidence
that young people are now financially dependent on their parents
for longer than previous generations, but that many cannot rely on
their parents to provide them with the support policy-makers tend
to assume they can access.
In the past, employment was the key to independence for young
people. But now they cannot earn enough to support themselves, even
if they find work, so depend on their parents’ support for
Yet there is a often a gap between young people’s need for
support – including the need to remain in the family home – and
parents’ ability or willingness to continue to support them.
Young people who continue with their education after age 16 are
also at least partly financially dependent on their parents. But,
as the document points out, many parents do not share
policy-makers’ views that education is better than work for
over-16s and may be unwilling to provide financial support for
their children to remain at school.
The paper calls for a “new flexibility” in policy and services
for young people which recognises that their circumstances are very