What are family relationships like for Indian teens and young adults?

We asked this question in a recent survey of 25,000 Indians aged 15 to 25, spanning over 400 towns and more than 100 campuses. We learned that India’s Gen Z aren’t getting one-sided lectures at the dinner table – their parents value their children’s perspectives and life goals, even if they don’t make complete sense to them at first. Young Indians’ parents are their safe spaces, and this connection is so close that they turn to their parents for advice on love, career, and mental health. In fact, the majority are open to living with their parents well into adulthood and after marriage.

Here are some key findings from this project:

Young Indians admire their parents more than anyone. When asked who they look to as their top role model in life, 54% of young Indians chose their parents – almost evenly split between Mom and Dad. Just 10% chose the next most popular role model, a celebrity or public figure.

They have a close and trusting relationship with their parents. Most young Indians (91%) feel their parents have become more understanding than a few years ago. There is a sense of mutual respect, with 85% saying their parents completely trust their decisions and 84% saying they always consult their parents for things big and small.

They feel responsible for their parents and are open to living with them into adulthood. Virtually all young Indians (95%) feel a strong sense of responsibility toward their parents. Most (81%) would be happy staying with their parents or in-laws after marriage. In fact, 86% believe a feeling of safety exists in a joint family and 75% see more advantages than disadvantages in a joint family.

Family ranks ahead of personal achievements. When asked the source of their happiness, 42% of young Indians chose family. In contrast, just 20% chose personal achievements.

Family also outranks friends. Friends are an essential source of support for young people in general. But when we asked our sample of young Indians if family or friends is more important, 89% chose family. Three-quarters say they are closer to their parents than to their friends, and a similar percentage report that they have as much fun with family as with friends.