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Free Webinar: “Failure to Launch” Revisited: Why Young Adults Can’t Break Free

A decade ago we had the “failure to launch 20-somethings” or the “boomerang” kids who came back to live with mom and dad. A kind of “blaming the victim” approach was adopted to say, what’s wrong with these kids, instead of, what’s wrong with the world they live in. We have said it was because there were no jobs or they couldn’t stick to anything because they were self-absorbed millennials, or worse, just lazy kids unprepared for the real world. A closer look shows that they are up against both internal and external barriers too numerous to overcome. Let’s look at some of the real reasons and give them the support they need.

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Fear – Fear of everything. Fear of going out, fear of people, fear of men, relationships, fear of failure and success, fear of a world with few protections, fear of leaving parents and abandonment, fear of living alone, etc. Once you live in fear and anxiety and depression, substances creep into daily life from sheer boredom. It is not unusual to find a 20-something who is not only afraid but also addicted (weed, alcohol, cigarettes, vape, pills, internet, gaming, gambling and more).

Parents overwhelmed, impaired
 – If you grew up with a disabled or unemployed or alcoholic or divorced parent, a parent working double shifts, you missed out on vital help you might need to succeed. It’s hard to catch up in your 20’s. Sometimes it takes a whole decade to make up for these missing milestones.

Social Anxiety
 – Instead of running out to get married like some did in previous generations, you avoid social situations, and avoidance reinforces avoidance. Avoidance is easy. And then you wake up when you’re 30 and say, “Whoa, I forgot to grow up.” Push past your comfort zone, even though it may hurt.

Presenter: Donna C. Moss, MA, LCSW-R


Donna C. Moss, MA, LCSW-R is a skilled adolescent therapist who writes about the Internet and on other issues in mental health. Moss has written and traveled and provided articles for the Internet on many topics in mental health. She was Online Producer at three major websites, iVillage, Disney and She is an avid hiker, yoga practitioner and swimmer and is married with two teenagers of her own. You can learn more about Donna’s work at her personal website.


Date: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 from 8:00 – 9:00 PM (EST)

This webinar has past, however the recording can be seen on Psych Central’s You Tube Channel by clicking here.

This free webinar is a live 45-minute PowerPoint presentation, followed by a Q&A with Donna, and is hosted by Psych Central’s Gabe Howard.

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Free Webinar: “Failure to Launch” Revisited: Why Young Adults Can’t Break Free

Gabe Howard

Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations, available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author. To learn more about Gabe, please visit his website,

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APA Reference
Howard, G. (2018). Free Webinar: “Failure to Launch” Revisited: Why Young Adults Can’t Break Free. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 16 May 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.