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Think Out Loud

The Slow Path to Adulthood

Pete Springer/OPB

In the not so distant past, getting a college education, finding a job, getting married and buying a home was the likely path for most Americans by age twenty-five. American teens grew up fast during this era, which lasted from the end of World War II through the 1980s. But parents of young adults today see their kids on a different, slower path. And they’re also more likely to see their adult children right in front of them: at home.

The author Richard Settersten says this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In Not Quite Adults he argues that this slower path to adulthood could be better for everyone involved.

Are you an adult living with your parents? If so, why are you in that situation? Or, are you a parent with an adult child still at home? What is it like for you?


  • Richard Settersten: Author of “Not Quite Adults”
  • Zach Powers: Now 29, returned to live with parents between age 23 and 25
  • Corrine Spiegel: Mother whose 26-year-old son currently lives at home
  • Bryce Meekins: 22-year-old living with parents
  • Daryl Meekins: Father of Bryce Meekins
adulthood children college parenting

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