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How often do adult children see their parents ?

Population and Societies

427, October 2006

Leaving the parental home is not a final separation. In France, 43% of adult children see their father or mother every week. From the student’s "homecoming" to the regular visits of the independent adult,these encounters are shaped both by choice and by constraint. Using data from the French version of an international survey on family relationships, Arnaud Régnier-Loilier has calculated the frequency of contacts between parents and children, and the variations between men and women, professionals andmanual workers, only children and members of large families, etc.

Children who leave home earlier see their parents less often after moving out. This is due partly to the fact that they tend to move further away, and larger distances reduce the frequency of contacts. The frequencyof contacts declines as the parents and children grow older. It is also lower among children with brothers and sisters than among only children, since the parents share their time between their different offspring.
People in higher-level occupations see their parents two to three times less often than farmers, manual workers and clerical workers. These differences are due partly to the geographical distance between parents and children, which is larger on average for higher-level occupations. Last, when the parents are separated, the children maintain closer contacts with the parent who played the largest role in their upbringing, generally the mother.

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