Geography and the Journey to Adulthood: Parental proximity, mobility sequences and outcomes Suzanne Davies Withers Elise Bowditch University of Washington.
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Presentation on theme: "Geography and the Journey to Adulthood: Parental proximity, mobility sequences and outcomes Suzanne Davies Withers Elise Bowditch University of Washington."— Presentation transcript:
Geography and the Journey to Adulthood: Parental proximity, mobility sequences and outcomes Suzanne Davies Withers Elise Bowditch University of Washington
Transition to Adulthood Idealized American norm – growing up, moving out, going to college, career Upward social mobility and geographic mobility Just over half of families with college age children do not have children enrolled in college How typical is this pathway? Where are the rest of young adults as they navigate the path to independence? Class differences – economic constraints and expectations
Process not event Traditional rites of passage: graduation, job, marriage, home It is a process rather than a single event Life course perspective – voluminous of work documenting the various pathways into adulthood Variable sequencing of events Missing is the role that spatial mobility and parental proximity serve in the timing of transition and the range of successful outcomes the geographic aspects of the transition to adulthood
From Aspatial to Spatial Spatial studies are scarce Frontiers of Adulthood (2004) – no reference to migration or residential mobility Geographic studies to date are mostly regional (Mitchell ’94, Settersen ’98, Garasky ’02, Buck and Scott ’93, Gutmann et al ’02, Iacovou ’02) Or State (Mulder and Clark ’02, ’00) Neighborhood effects as causal agents (Corcoran ’92, Solon et al ’00)
Parental Proximity What does parental proximity mean? What does it mean for different groups? Extended family and social networks for support Intergenerational care – children and grandparents Spatial diverge and spatial converge (Silverstein, ‘95) Expect gender and class differences in meaning Urban hierarchy – spatial opportunity structure The route to adulthood is a means of establishing a geographic relationship with one’s parents
Research Questions 1. What is the timing of leaving home? 2. What are the different Pathways and Geographic Destinations? 3. Can we predicting parental proximity in adulthood? 4. What is the influence of parental proximity on adult outcomes (economic) ? 5. How do adult offspring compare to their parents regarding economic outcomes? 6. Are there differences based on the sequences of parental proximity over the transition?
Data Source Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) Followed families and members annually since 1968 The children of original families are now middle aged PSID now an excellent source for intergenerational life-course studies We follow young adults as they mature and leave the parental home A key advantage is that we have information on the parental home during adolescence and throughout the transition
Methodology Follow a cohort of dependents aged 12-16 in 1970 Examine their residential location and living arrangement as they traverse to adulthood Sample of 2,096 (unweighted) in 1970 We follow their location and characteristics in five- year intervals 1975, 1980, 1985, and 1990. Merge the PSID with geocodes and track the relative location of individuals and their parents Differentiate: same zip code, same county, out-of- county and out-of state
Research Questions I What is the timing of leaving home? by gender, race, city size combinations of each
Research Questions IV What is the influence of parental proximity on adult economic outcomes ? Compare income-to-needs ratios of adult offspring who live near (same county) with those who live far (out of county) Compare for each demographic group
Research Questions V How do adult offspring compare to their parents regarding economic outcomes? Compare income-to-needs ratios with those of their parents Compare for each demographic group
Conclusion Spatial mobility, social mobility and the transition to adulthood are intertwined Typical paths predicts urban white men well but women and minorities show different social and spatial patterns and outcomes Geographic: what does proximity mean for specific geographic areas? Theoretically: promising venue to unpack how spatial mobility is racialized and gendered Conceptually: broader issue of intergenerational proximity in a rapidly aging, hyper-mobile society