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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Half of Garden State Checks in with Mom Every Day

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day is upon us, one of the busiest telephone days of the year - a day when nearly all of us call or visit dear old Mom.  However, it's also a day when many of us hear, "Why don't you call more often?"  Well, the results are in and it turns out that most of us do indeed keep in frequent touch with our parents throughout the year.

According to a survey of adult New Jersey residents whose parents are living, 87 percent of the Garden State talks to or visits their parents at least once a week.  This is comparable to the 86 percent of adults nationwide who touch base with their parents weekly.  But compared to the rest of the country, New Jerseyans are even more attentive to their parents on a daily basis.  Half of the state (50%) are in daily contact with Mom and Dad, compared to only 42 percent of other Americans who see or speak to their parents every day.

There are also some interesting findings behind the New Jersey numbers.  Not surprisingly, more women (57%) than men (43%) are in daily contact with their parents.  But in what may be a more unexpected result, young adults are the most likely to keep in constant touch with their parents.  Maybe it's to borrow money or perhaps they are simply more likely to live at home, but fully 71 percent of 18 to 29 year olds talk to their parents once a week, compared to 42 percent of 30 to 49 year olds and 36 percent of those age 50 and older who do the same.

The Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll  was conducted by telephone with 803 New Jersey adults from April 17 to 20, 2006.  The results quoted above are based on 512 adults residents who have at least one living parent.  This sample has a margin of error of ±  4 percent.

According to the poll, nearly two-thirds of all New Jersey adults have a parent living - including 17 percent whose mother is alive, 6 percent whose father is alive and 42 percent who still have both their parents living.  These findings are comparable to national results.

By age of resident, 94 percent of 18 to 29 year olds and 81 percent of 30 to 49 year olds have a parent living, although fewer in the 30 to 49 age group still have both parents living - 49 percent compared to 83 percent of 18 to 29 year olds.  Among New Jerseyans age 50 and older, 30 percent have at least one parent alive, including 12 percent who have both parents.

The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute and originally published by the Gannett New Jersey newspaper group (Asbury Park Press, Courier-Post, Courier News, Daily Journal, Daily Record, Home News Tribune, and Ocean County Observer).

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:  

J9.       Regarding your family, are your parents living?

Among those residents with a parent currently living:  

J10.     About how often do you usually see or talk to your parents?

Results for this Monmouth University/Gannett NJ Poll  are based on telephone interviews conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute on April 17-20, 2006 with a statewide random sample of 803 adult residents.  For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.  Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample.  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

It is the Monmouth University Polling Institute's policy to conduct surveys of all adult New Jersey residents, including voters and non-voters, on issues which affect the state.  Specific voter surveys are conducted when appropriate during election cycles.  

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.  

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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- Monmouth University Polling Institute