The effects of parental illness and other ill family members on youth caregiving experiences

Pakenham, Kenneth I. & Cox, Stephen D. (2015) The effects of parental illness and other ill family members on youth caregiving experiences. Psychology and Health, 30(7), pp. 857-878.

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Informed by a model of family role-redistribution derived from the Family Ecology Framework (Pedersen & Revenson, 2005), this study examined differences in two proposed psychological components of role-redistribution (youth caregiving experiences and responsibilities) between youth of a parent with illness and their peers from ‘healthy’ families controlling for the effects of whether a parent is ill or some other family member, illness type, and demographics. Based on self-report questionnaire data, four groups of Australian children were derived from a community sample of 2474youth (‘healthy’ family, n=1768; parental illness, n=336; other family member illness, n=254; both parental and other family member illness, n=116). The presence of any family member with a serious illness is associated with an intensification of youth caregiving experiences relative to peers from healthy families. This risk is elevated if the ill family member is a parent, if more illnesses are present, and by certain youth and family demographics, and especially by higher caregiving responsibilities. The presence of a family member, particularly a parent, with a serious medical condition has pervasive increased effects on youth caregiving compared to healthy families, and these effects are not fully accounted for by illness type, demographics or caregiving responsibilities.

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ID Code: 82566
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Published online 13 Feb 2015. The embargo on the accepted manuscript version will expire on 13 Aug 2016
Keywords: parental illness, family health, young carers, youth caregiving, youth adjustment
DOI: 10.1080/08870446.2014.1001390
ISSN: 1476-8321
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology and Health on 2015, available online:
Deposited On: 18 Mar 2015 02:39
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2016 19:56

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