Leaving the parental home is a phenomenon one experiences during one’s transition to adulthood. The timing of leaving the parental home can depend on a variety of reasons. Young adults may need to move to a place closer to the work place or school, they may decide to cohabitate with or marry a certain person, or they may decide to be economically independent.
In Japan, previous research has emphasized that Japanese men tend to leave the parental homes earlier than women, unlike other Asian countries and western societies. The difference in the reasons between men and women for leaving the parental home is the main factor for the gender discrepancy with regard to leaving the parental home. Men tend to leave the parental home as they enter advanced school, while women tend to leave after marriage. However, in recent years, the phenomenon of leaving the parental home in Japan has changed, especially in terms of timing of and reasons for leaving the parental home.
This study examines the change in the mechanisms of leaving the parental home in contemporary Japan, focusing on gender differences by using data from Japanese Life course Panel Survey (JLPS). The results show that the gender differences with respect to the experience rates of leaving the parental home have been disappearing, and the gender difference with respect to the reasons for leaving home have been shrinking. The multivariate analyses indicate that the respondent’s life events still strongly encourage one to leave the parental home.