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The European voice for informal carers

Pathways to Mental Well-Being in Young Carers: The Role of Benefit Finding, Coping, Helplessness, and Caring Tasks

Although prior research has shown that young carers may perceive benefits from their challenging situation, it is unclear how and when benefit finding leads to better mental health.

This study examines pathways through which benefit finding may influence mental well-being. Self-reported data were obtained from 601 adolescents aged 15–21 (Mage = 17.87, 71.9% female) who provided care for a close person with physical or mental health problems.

Benefit finding was associated with better mental well-being directly as well as indirectly via better coping and lower helplessness. These findings were similar across young carers with different caring task profiles, except for a few differences regarding social/emotional and instrumental care. The study suggests that benefit finding could promote coping skills and mental well-being in adolescent young carers with implications for the design of future research on interventions with young carers.

Published on the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, it can be accessed here.

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