A new paper published in the Journal of Adolescent Health uses MyVoice data to explore youth experiences and perspectives on family caregiving in hopes of providing policy makers and healthcare professionals with much-needed insight to improve programs and policies that impact the well-being of youth.

Using qualitative information collected from 14-24 year olds enrolled in the MyVoice project, the researchers suggest that the prevalence of youth caregiving may be higher than previous estimates, with 35% of respondents reporting that they had provided care for an adult relative, either by themselves or by providing support to a caregiver. Participants believed caregiving had hindered their educational or career goals, or would in the future.  The majority of those surveyed indicated that they felt that tailored training would better prepare them to be a caregiver.

These findings provide important insights to healthcare professionals and others seeking to provide supportive programming for young people. In particular, the paper’s authors argue that healthcare professionals should identify youth in their programs with caregiving responsibilities and provide appropriate support, resources, and interventions to reduce potential impacts of caregiving burden on health outcomes.

“If It Needs to be Done, It Needs to be Done”: National Survey of Youth Experiences and Perspectives on Caregiving. M Raj, S Feldman, J Platt, T Chang. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2021.03.003

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