Generation Stuck: The Boomerang Generation

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Kat and Sam, the two radio diarists for WBUR's special series, Generation Stuck.
Kat and Sam, the two radio diarists for WBUR's Generation Stuck series.

Radio Boston kicks off its portion of WBUR’s special series, Generation Stuck.

We'll talk about how a significant portion of 20-somethings are returning to live with their parents. A WBUR/AMP Agency nationwide poll found that nearly 30 percent of 23 to 29 year olds live at home.

One of the two Gen Stuck diarists, Kat, reflected:

It's embarrassing to the extreme. For the year that I lived at home, I hated running into family friends, friends of family, stuff like that. They'd be like, "Oh! What are you doing? Didn't you go to Tufts? Why are you living at home doing the grocery shopping for your mother?" I'm like, "'Cause I'm thoughtful...and unemployed."

Sam, the other diarist, realized living with his father is a double edged sword:

It's comfortable, but it's uncomfortably comfortable. You're supposed to have like your own space that you can be in control of and I don't have that. That messes up your mind and the way that you organize your thoughts.

Despite the challenges, Sam is reluctant to move out:

Right now, I mean, I could do it — it's just I'm scared to because I feel like if I do then I'm running the risk of actually ending up worse off than I am. The whole point of me moving up here was so that I could grow and move forward and not take two steps back instead.

We speak with a developmental psychologist about the perils of returning home and with a economics and culture writer about how the recession has really taken a toll on the millennials.


  • Jennifer Tanner, a developmental scientist whose specialty is emerging adulthood. She's a visiting research assistant professor at Rutgers' Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research and co-chair of the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood.
  • Jordan Weissmann, associate editor at The Atlantic. He co-authored the piece, "The Cheapest Generation," which appeared in September issue.


This segment aired on December 4, 2012.


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