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No More 'Empty Nest:' Middle-aged Adults Face Family Pressure on Both Sides

Published: January 25, 2013.
By Oregon State University


– The "empty nest" of past generations, in which the kids are grown up and middle-aged adults have more time to themselves, has been replaced in the United States by a nest that's full – kids who can't leave, can't find a job and aging parents who need more help than ever before.

This study concluded that most middle-aged parents with young adult children are fairly happy to help them out, and they understand that getting started in life is simply more difficult now.

But the response to helping adult parents who, at the same time, need increasing amounts of assistance is not as uniformly positive, the study found – it can be seen as both a joy and a burden, and in any case was not something most middle-aged adults anticipated. "

The dual demands of children still transitioning to independence, and aging parents who need increasing amounts of care is causing many of the study participants to re-evaluate their own lives.

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