Presented by Ed Janes

During this seminar I will be presenting on the quantitative component of my mixed methods doctoral study, Caring Lives: What do young people who care for family members need to thrive?  The study aimed to revisit early research challenges concerning (1) how to identify and recruit from a group that are often reluctant to engage in services, and (2) the lack of large-scale quantitative data for analysis.  Together these limitations resulted in the perception of young carers as a small group of children with substantial responsibilities and predominantly negative impacts, but recent increases in prevalence estimates indicate the need to investigate young carers as a larger population.

Structural equation modelling was used to study multiple waves of LSYPE (Longitudinal Study of Young People in England) data including variables on young carer status, amount of responsibilities, mental health and demographic information.  The modelling compared the mental health of young carers with children without caring responsibilities, with additional analysis of those with greater responsibilities versus all other respondents.

Impact on mental health varied depending on duration of the caring role with the short-term impacts of caring marginal but their mental health deteriorating over time compared to non-young carers.  In particular, those with greater responsibilities had better short-term mental health than their peers, though the deterioration over time was greater.

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