Young Carers' Experiences of Caring In an Inner London Borough. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)

Prof Doc Thesis

Wadey, Karen 2015. Young Carers' Experiences of Caring In an Inner London Borough. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Psychology
AuthorsWadey, Karen
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Young Carers are children and young people (CYP) between the age of 5-18years who provide care for a family member who has an illness or disability. The prevalence of Young Carers (YCs) in the UK is high and rising rapidly; the most recent census in England and Wales (2011) highlighted 177,918 YCs known to services, and an increase of almost 19% between 2001 and 2011. Local authorities have a legal responsibility to identify, assess and support YCs in their role.
Most research in this area has focused on the vulnerabilities and risk factors of YCs. This current research, using IPA, has set out to have a bottom-up exploration of the experiences of YCs, placing the CYPs’ views at the centre of the study and looking at the meaning they make of the role as well as the support that they receive. The study took a positive psychological perspective by being open to the positive and the negative impact of the caring experience.
A sample of 8 YCs (4 female and 4 male) ranging from the age of 11 to 18 years took part in individual face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Participants were recruited from a multi-cultural inner London local authority YCs’ project. The YCs cared for either parents, grandparents or siblings.
The findings of this study concurred with previous research, highlighting that YCs endure physical and psychological hardship; but this study demonstrated that they also identify benefits of the caregiving role and some YCs have adapted various ways to manage the impact of caring. The study also finds that YCs value support such as the YCs’ group, but many expressed the need for more individual support, especially for the younger YCs.
The author outlines the implications of the findings for Educational Psychologists, referring to various skills of assessment and intervention which they could implement to identify and support YCs so that their wellbeing is promoted. The author suggests further longitudinal mixed methods research to explore the potential of this suggestion.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintSep 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Feb 2016
Publisher's version
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