July 20, 2009 Young men who stay at home with their parents are more violent than those who live independently, according to new research at Queen Mary, University of London.
The new study indicates that men still living at home in their early twenties have fewer responsibilities and more disposable income to spend on alcohol.
This group makes up only four percent of the UK's male population but they are responsible for 16 per cent of all violent injuries in the last five years.
Delaying social independence and remaining in the parental home have become more common over the past 40 years in both the UK and the USA.
Professor Jeremy Coid and Dr Ming Yang surveyed over 8000 men and women. Participants answered questions about violent behaviour over the past 5 years and mental health problems.
Their results showed for the first time that staying in the parental home is a stronger risk factor for young men's violence than any other factor.
Professor Coid said: "Young adult men living at home in Britain are no longer influenced by parents to conform to standards of behaviour expected of previous generations.
"Violence outside of the home, mainly involving strangers, is the most common scenario and just one of a series of hedonistic and negative social behaviours such as hazardous drinking, drug misuse, sexual risk taking, and non-violent antisocial behaviour.
"And these are more common among young men who do not have responsibilities of providing their own accommodation, supporting dependent children, or experiencing beneficial effects on their behaviour from living with a female partner.
"Young men who live at home are also more likely to receive financial support from their parents than in the past when the pattern was reversed. However, in this study their earnings or benefits were the same as those who had left home and taken on greater social responsibility. They therefore had more disposable income which may have partly explained why they had more problems with alcohol."
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- Coid et al. Violence and delayed social independence among young adult British men. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 2009; DOI: 10.1007/s00127-009-0077-6
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