Positive and negative impacts of caring among adolescents caring for grandparents. Results from an online survey in six european countries and implications for future research, policy and practice

Sara Santini, Marco Socci, Barbara D’amen, Mirko Di Rosa, Giulia Casu, Valentina Hlebec, Feylyn Lewis, Agnes Leu, Renske Hoefman, Rosita Brolin, Lennart Magnusson, Elizabeth Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although up to 8% of European youngsters carry out high-intensity care for a family member, adolescent young carers (AYCs), especially those caring for their grandparents (GrPs), remain an under-researched group. This study aimed at addressing the current knowledge gap by carrying out an online survey in Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The analysis included a final sample of 817 AYCs aged 15–17 years old. AYCs of grandparents (GrPs) were compared to AYCs of other care recipients (OCRs), in order to identify any difference in positive and negative caregiving outcomes and exposure factors between the two groups. Linear or logistic regression models were built, and multivariate analyses were repeated, including a fixed effect on the country variable. AYCs of GrPs experienced more positive caregiving outcomes than AYCs of OCRs across all six countries. Being female or non-binary, and having a migration background, were associated with more negative outcomes, regardless of the relationship with the care recipient. Further research on intergenerational caregiving outcomes is recommended for shaping measures and policies, which preserve the intergenerational emotional bonds, whilst protecting AYCs from inappropriate responsibilities, undermining their mental health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6593
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2 2020

Keywords

  • Adolescent young caregivers
  • Grandparents
  • Intergenerational relationships
  • Negative caregiving outcomes
  • Older people
  • Online survey
  • Positive caregiving outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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