The study revealed that between 1987 and 1991 the proportion of 19 year old men leaving home had increased from 31% to 37%.
The figure for women had increased from 39% to 42%.
It claimed that far from encouraging families to stay together, government policies are putting increasing strain on relationships.
The study warned against regarding the parental home as an alternative housing provision and claimed that more accommodation was needed to allow young people to seek independence at an earlier age.
l A summary of Young people in and out of the housing market is available free from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The Homestead, 40 Water End, York, Y03 6LP.