Leaving Home: A Qualitative Study

Varda Mann-Feder, Allison Eades, Emma Sobel, Jack De Stafano


This article presents the results of a qualitative study that examined first person accounts of the process of leaving home in Emerging Adulthood. Thirty university students aged 21 to 26, who attended a large commuter school in a Canadian city, were interviewed individually. Sixteen had already left home to live on their own, while fourteen lived with their families but anticipated leaving home. What emerged was a model of home leaving as a gradual process, which spanned months or years and represented a significant transition. Adaptation was either facilitated or impeded by external supports as well as personal attitudes and abilities. While parents played an important role in how confidently participants experienced the transition, peers appeared to have exerted a unique and important influence as sources of information and reassurance. Implications for practice and research are identified.

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Canadian Journal of Family and Youth / Le Journal Canadien de Famille et de la Jeunesse
2008-2014 | ISSN 1718-9748