Why are young men still living at home more violent?

We are used to the idea that young men are responsible for much of the violence in society, but who would have thought that living under the parental roof was the strongest risk factor for such behaviour? And yet, that is what researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, found when they asked over 8000 men and women about violent behaviour over the past five years and mental health problems.

Men still living at home in their early twenties make up only four per cent of Britain’s male population but this study shows they are responsible for 16 per cent of all violent injuries in the last five years. Few responsibilities and more disposable income is a toxic mix.

Says Professor Jeremy Coid, one of the study authors:

"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.

The problem is delayed adulthood:

"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.

Pity he didn’t mention marriage there.

"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."

Actually, the problem is not living at home in your early twenties, since lots of young people do that in this era of extended education and expensive housing. The problem is surely living with parents who have tolerated self-centred behaviour from an early age.


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