Zhihong Zhao

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This dissertation first explores a theoretical synthesis for the home-leaving of young adults in Canada. It proposes that home-leaving decisions are made at the family level, instead of at the individual level. While young adults may base their considerations concerning their living arrangements primarily on their own self-interest, parents are more likely to consider not only their own interests but also the best interests of their children. Young adults from social groups with different levels of familism will also have different patterns of home-leaving.;The analysis involves the life table and the proportional hazards models, as well as logistic regression, using data from the 1990 General Social Survey of Canada. After identifying as many covariates as possible as of the time of the event (home-leaving), this research found that gender, family structure, culture, and financial considerations are important predictors of home-leaving. While women still leave home earlier than men, their reasons for leaving home are becoming quite similar to those of men in recent cohorts. Children from non-traditional, non-intact families are likely to leave home earlier than other children. On the other hand, children from more traditional ethnic and religious groups tend to leave home later. Young adults, especially young men are more likely to live apart from parents if they have achieved financial independence.;This research also points to several data needs for the study of home-leaving in Canada. First, more information concerning young adults, their parents and the family structure is needed as of the time of young adults' home-leaving. Second, data must allow the linkage between this information and young adults' pathways for exiting parental homes. Third, community level variables need to be included in data collection.



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