Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Boomerang Generation refers to a trend in North America of young adult children, generally between the ages of 18 and 30, returning home to reside with their middle-aged parents in greater numbers than young adults in previous generations. Tied closely to social psychological life course theory, the concept offers a visual metaphor of young adults who “boomerang”—returning to and leaving the family home on several occasions before forming their own households. This pattern violates age-norm expectations that children separate physically from their parents and make their own lives sometime between age 18 and age 24. If the transition to adulthood is defined by a series of milestones that include completing education or training, achieving economic independence, and forming long-term partnerships or establishing one's own family, the young adult who lives at home can be seen as not fully adult. Delays in home leaving, and returns home after one has ...