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Skip module menu and go to content. Online catalogue record for Canadian Social Trends Canadian Social Trends main page Articles by subject Previous releases Coming articles Social indicators Attention educators! News Other research More information about Canadian Social Trends Order the print version

Attention educators! >

"When is junior moving out? Transitions from the parental home to independence" and
"Junior comes back home: Trends and predictors of returning to the parental home"



  • To define the process of transition to adulthood in today's society.
Curriculum areas: social studies, family studies, life skills

Classroom instructions

  1. Read the two articles "When is junior moving out?" (PDF) (August 2006 on-line) and "Junior comes back home" (PDF) (October 2006 on-line). Summarize the factors that contribute to leaving the parental home and those that contribute to returning. Identify any other factors that you think affect the timing of a young person's departure from home and/or their return home.
  2. The two articles show that leaving home and becoming an independent adult is taking longer than it did 30 years ago. What are some of the effects of a "failure to launch" on the individual family? On society as a whole?
  3. Sociologists and demographers have been talking about "delayed adulthood" for several decades. Generally speaking, "delayed adulthood" means that, compared to their parents, today's young people are waiting till they are older before starting a career, getting married, buying a home, having children, and so on. However, some researchers think that it is time to expand the definition of adulthood to include goals in addition to family formation. Discuss how to define an "adult" and identify the qualities you would associate with such a person. Given this new "adult", how would you now define the steps in the progression from adolescence to adulthood?
  4. The government is worried about the economic impact of "delayed adulthood" and has set up a task force to find out why young people are taking longer to establish themselves in their own independent households. You have been asked to address the task force and present your ideas for solving the problem. What kinds of policies or programs would you propose to the government? How would you measure the impact of your program?

Using other resources

See Resources by School Subject.


You may photocopy "Lesson plan" or any item or article in Canadian Social Trends for use in your classroom.

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