Leaving the Parental Home in Hungary and Western Romania before and after the Transformation
Population Research Institute Hungarian Statistical Office Budapest, Hungary
Sociology Dpt. Babes-Bolyai University Cluj Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Rich sociological and demographic literature deals with the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Our frame of reference is the event-based approach that examines the timing of several key events, such as leaving the parental home for the first time, entering the labour market, marrying or having children. We examine and compare the timing of leaving the parental home in the context of the transition to adulthood on two samples of respondents aged 19-45.
Preliminary results indicate that leaving the parental home has become more and more postponed in subsequent cohorts in both Hungary and Western Romania (Transylvania). Significant changes began with respondents born around 1970. Men and women time the establishment of an independent household differently in both societies. Postponement is stronger among women; however, higher proportion of women lives independently from their parents at all ages and women leave the parental home earlier than men. The relationship between leaving the parental home and other important life-course events will also be examined.
Our sources of retrospective empirical data are the first waves of the ?Turning Points of the Life Course? panel surveys in Hungary and in the Western part of Romania where ethnic Hungarians reside (the survey in Hungary is part of the Generations and Gender Programme).
Data makes it possible to compare the transitioning behaviour of two groups of the same nationality and the same mother tongue in two neighbouring countries: Hungarians as the majority ethnic group in Hungary and Hungarians as an ethnic minority in Western Romania. The diverging contexts that these two countries offer for young adults to construct their lives will also be taken into account. The time horizon of the study is also noteworthy: older cohorts experienced most of the life-course events usually associated with coming of age before the transformation in 1989, while the youngest respondents reached adulthood within the framework of a completely new political, economic and social system.