Impact on and support needs of young adults growing up with a chronically ill family member: Who cares?

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Abstract

    To ensure continuation of care, informal caregivers are urged to participate in the care of family members Part of this informal care is provided by informal caregivers under 26 years old. The primary aim of the research presented in this thesis was to gain insights into the impact on young adults (18–25 years old) of growing up with chronically ill family members. We found that responsibilities, conflicting loyalties, peer alienation, role reversal, personal development challenges, frequent worries, and confrontational situations can affect the physical and mental health and social development of young people, who are in the specific developmental phase of becoming adults and seeking their own place in wider society. A young adult who grows up with a chronically ill family member may experience a conflict between wishing to care for their family member and wanting to make personal choices without the encumbrance of caring responsibilities. Health care professionals and lecturers in educational programs need to be aware of this dilemma, as most support provision depends upon these professionals’ assessments of young adults’ needs. Young adults growing up with chronically ill family members thus need professionals in the education and health care systems who are willing to listen, with open minds, to respect the young person’s autonomy and allow them to speak openly about their family situations. When there are relationships of trust and understanding, information and emotional support can be provided to empower these young adults to become autonomous and to develop their own identities.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Roodbol, Petrie, Supervisor
    • Francke, Anneke L., Supervisor, External person
    • Luttik, Maria-Louise, Co-supervisor
    Award date31-May-2023
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publisher
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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