It concluded that most middle-aged parents with young adult children are fairly happy to help them out, and they understand that getting started in life is simply more difficult now.

Some research has suggested that age 25 is the new 22; that substantially more parents now don’t even expect their kids to be financially independent in their early 20s, and don’t mind helping them through some difficult times.

But the response to helping adult parents who, at the same time, need increasing amounts of assistance is not as uniformly positive, the study found – it can be seen as both a joy and a burden, and in any case was not something most middle-aged adults anticipated.

Many middle-aged people said it was difficult to make any plans, due to anxiety and uncertainty about a parent’s health at any point in time.