Second-generation migrants leaving the parental home in France: how does context matter?

Giulia Ferrari, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Ariane Pailhé, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

Leaving the parental home is one of the crucial steps of transition to adulthood. Previous studies on this phenomenon in France have observed a delayed exit of immigrants’ descendants with respect to natives. This relationship might be due to several determinants: structural constraints, as some groups of descendants of immigrants have hardly access to high educational levels, face unfavorable economic conditions and discrimination in the labor market and suffer from high unemployment. Further, cultural norms, as specific family values and norms can persist among immigrants’ children, depending on their parents’ and their own socialization process. The two reasons are linked to contextual factors where people live in, as unemployment and immigrant’s concentration rate. This study aim at investigating whether intentions to leave the parental home within a year are affected by 1) structural constraints and if this effect is stronger in contexts of high unemployment rates; 2) cultural norms, linked to the socialization process of the family of origin. We also assume that a low socioeconomic background will depress young adult’s intentions to leave. Indeed, living in a segregated area might reinforce this pattern, since it reduces contact with the mainstream population and thus adaptation to prevailing norms. Our findings show the existence of a negative relationship between structural constraints and positive intentions to leave. Cultural and social dimension where people grew up influences our outcome as well: parents’ low education and religiosity but also a high level of segregation in the area of residence have a significant depressing impact on the likelihood to be intentioned to leave the parental home in the short term. We plan to further develop the analysis including other important explanatory variables, other contextual measures and key interaction terms. Finally, the issue of selection of young people still living in parental home will be addressed.

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 Presented in Session 3. Migration and the family: structure and process