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Messiha and Stokes (2023). A Qualitative Study on the Contemporary Perspectives and Experiences of Co-residence during Covid-19 among ‘Boomeranging’ Young Adults and their Mothers in England. (Preprint)

posted on 2023-07-31, 13:12 authored by Katrina MessihaKatrina Messiha, Gillian StokesGillian Stokes


The ‘Boomerang Effect’ (BE) is a contemporary phenomenon in England and wider Europe, referencing young adults who move out of their parents' home to live independently but eventually return to live with their parents again. Despite concerns about residential independence and the intensification of BE due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is limited qualitative data investigating it. This qualitative study utilises diary methods to elicit the perspectives and experiences from six mother-young adult child dyads in England for 21 days to enable holistic and dynamic insights on the day-to-day exposures to the BE phenomenon. Findings resulted in several salient themes: (1) prime concerns shaping living arrangements, (2) framing of [participant] role, (3) conceptualisation of [participant] identity, (4) nature of family relations, (5) depiction of independence, and (6) perceived situational input of Government. This work underscores the interdependent and complex relationship between structure and agency manifest in the BE context.


This preprint contributes valuable knowledge to the existing literature on the Boomerang Effect and offers nuanced insights into the experiences of both young adults and their mothers as they navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by this contemporary trend during the Covid-19 pandemic. The implications of these findings may inform policies and support systems to better address the needs of young adults and families in the changing landscape of living arrangements. 


Declaration of conflicts of interest


Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Netherlands

Lead author job role

  • PhD Student

Lead author institution

Amsterdam UMC

Human Participants

  • Yes

Ethics statement

Ethics approval was sought out by University College London.

Terms agreed

  • Yes, I agree to Advance terms


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