Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study illustrates the lives of young carers

15.05.2007
A new study by Loughborough University has highlighted what caring for a parent with serious mental health problems is like through the eyes of children and young people themselves.

Researchers in the University’s Young Carers Research Group (YCRG) used photographic methods to reveal new insight into the lives of children and young people who live with, and help to provide care for, their mentally ill parents.

In the research study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, children and young people – young carers – were given cameras so that they could show what it is like to live with, and care for, a parent with serious mental illness.

Dr Jo Aldridge, director of the YCRG, said: “This study enabled children and young people who are carers to give us direct visual insight into their lives and uncovered aspects of young caring previous studies haven’t been able to identify.

“It was a participative study which allowed the children themselves to become co-researchers in the research process by creating visual diaries of their lives.”

Sixteen children and young people took part in the study and created their own photo diaries. Their parents had a range of mental health problems, including depression, schizophrenia and personality disorder, sometimes combined with physical health problems.

As well as revealing what sort of domestic tasks young carers undertake, such as washing up, cleaning, caring for siblings and parents and administering medication, the study also revealed the coping strategies that children use in order to cope with their caring responsibilities.

“Other studies have revealed what these children do because of what they have told us through interviews,” explains Dr Aldridge, “but this study gave us more detailed personal insight from children’s visual perspectives. So it showed us the ways in which they coped with their caring lives and how they negotiate caring with school life and friendships, for example.

“What was also important was that these children and young people enjoyed taking active part in the research process and being in charge of their own data collection. This approach is much more in line with recent government thinking and policy on children’s inclusion, participation and in consulting with them. The study shows that children are competent social agents, not just as carers but as children with stories to tell about their lives.”

Key messages to policy makers to emerge from the study are that children can and do cope with parental mental illness and caring and that they want recognition for this. But young carers also need information, particularly about mental illness, formal support services and recognition for the contributions they make as carers and, in this case, as co-researchers.

“It is true that these children’s lives are often difficult and painful and more constrained than their peers who do not have to care for an ill parent,” explains Dr Aldridge. “But the role of friends, close parent- child relationships, home based activities, faith and even family pets all need careful consideration when addressing these children’s needs and helping them to cope with parental illness. These children want the public and professionals to see what it is like to be a young carer and how they cope with their lives.”

Helen McCullam | alfa
Further information:
http://www.lboro.ac.uk/service/publicity/news-releases/2007/66_young_carers.html

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>