ObjectivesSince the Great Recession, the proportion of young adults living with their parents has risen steadily in the United States. Research on coresidence with adult children and parental marital quality is mixed, but marital quality may suffer if children coreside under certain circumstances. When coresidence signifies a deviation from normative expectations, it may be a source of stress in parents' marriages. Further, living with adult children who are suffering problems may be especially detrimental to parental marital quality.
MethodMiddle-aged parents (N = 287; mean age = 50.65) completed measures of marital quality, child problems, and coresidence at 2 time points, at the onset of the Great Recession in 2008 and again in 2013.
ResultsRegression analyses estimating marital quality from coresidence status revealed that coresidence with a child was associated with lower parental marital quality in 2008, but not in 2013 (when it may be considered more normative to have adult children living in the home). Additional analyses showed living with a child who was suffering problems was associated with lower marital quality in 2013.
DiscussionThese findings suggest that coresidence may be detrimental to marital quality, but perhaps only when coresidence is nonnormative or when coresidence co-occurs with child problems.