Laying Down New Rules For The 'Not-So-Empty Nest'

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A few years back, Sally Koslow thought her mothering years were over. Her two twenty-something sons had launched into the wider world and she was getting used to the empty nest.

Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, they both landed back home. Koslow wondered why her kids still relied on her to complete simple chores and why they were ill-prepared to land a job or find an apartment. She was startled and depressed to learn they were part of a much larger trend.

According to the Pew Research Center, one-fifth of young adults aged 25-34 live in multigenerational households. The bad economy the main contributing factor, but the trend also reflects shifts in social norms.

In her book Slouching Toward Adulthood, Koslow explores what changed, and how to make the best of living with adult children.

Koslow talks with NPR's Jennifer Ludden about her research and interviews on the phase she calls "adultescence."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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