Transition to Adulthood in Italy: an Intergenerationl Perspective

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3 Citations (Scopus)


For over 30 years, the delay in leaving the parental home has been a main distinctive feature of the life cycle of Italian families where, consequently, marriage and the birth of the first child are also delayed. Over the past few decades, families in industrialized countries have witnessed a prolonged transition to adulthood. A number of pathways to adulthood can be defined in different countries, according to their diverse institutions, cultures and economies. Recent years have seen the phenomenon of adult children still living with their parents spread across Europe and the US). Moreover, while in the past the tasks of establishing physical and psychosocial independence were linked in time and drove each other, nowadays a longer transition to adult status has split them, and markers of adulthood occur at later stages. Psychologists and sociologists have investigated the demographic implications of the delay in leaving the parental home: dropping birth rates, postponed marriage, an aging population. In Italy, the prolonged transition to adulthood is not a recent phenomenon. During the transition, young people combine adult goals, such as financial independence and work, with typically adolescent features, such as an emotional dependence on parents and the inability to make long-term plans. An intergenerational approach in studying the transition to adulthood sheds light on the different generations involved, detecting its implications for the family and society. The aim of this contribution is to present the Italian situation through an intergenerational approach, to identify the
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-248
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Comparative Family Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Family Relationship
  • Intergenerational perspective
  • Transition to Adulthood


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