Clark Poll of Emerging Adults finds most in constant touch with parents

Even if they’ve left the nest, a vast majority of today’s emerging adults, defined as young people between the ages of 18 to 29, maintain close contact with their parents via texting, email, phone or in person, according to the Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults.

The Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults, directed by psychology professor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, found that 77 percent of respondents surveyed nationwide are in regular touch with their parents electronically, by telephone or in person. The study revealed that 52 percent of emerging adults contact their parents every day or almost every day. Broken down further,  27 percent of respondents reported contact with  parents a few times a week, 14 percent  about once per week, 4 percent about once per month, and 3 percent less than once per month.

“This frequent contact reflects relationships between emerging adults and parents that are generally close and harmonious,” said Arnett. “Most young people still want their parents’ guidance and support as they navigate their way toward adulthood.”

The Clark Poll concluded that instead of entering marriage and parenthood in their early 20s, most emerging adults postpone these transitions until at least their late 20s and spend the late teens through their mid-20s in self-focused exploration testing different possibilities in love, work and life. Many emerging adults still rely a lot on their parents, not just financially but emotionally, as they often struggle in the course of their long and sometimes perilous transition to adulthood.

The Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults is based on 1,029 interviews of 18-to 29-year-olds nationwide. The margin of error is +/- 3.06 percent. A mixed-mode methodology was used for this project.

Visit www.ClarkU.edu/clarkpoll.

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