Skip to main content

Impact of Family Caregiving by Youth on Their Psychological Well-Being: A Latent Trait Analysis

Abstract

Secondary data analyses were conducted on a survey dataset from 1,281 middle school students to analyze the impact of family caregiving on self-reports of psychological well-being using the Multiple Indicators, Multiple Causes (MIMIC) model. Factor analysis resulted in four latent factors underlying psychological functioning, and the MIMIC model revealed significant caregiver effects on three factors: anxiety/depression, engaged coping, and disengaged coping, but not life satisfaction. Youth caregivers, especially those living with the care recipient, reported significantly higher anxiety/depression and a greater use of both coping styles compared to non-caregivers. Caregiving has a negative influence on the emotional well-being of youth with dual student–caregiver roles. The utilization of more coping strategies may reflect needing to try many approaches to school/family stressors because supports and experience are limited. Research to clarify how caregiving mediates the behavioral health and academic success of youth and also impacts care recipients and the family is warranted.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Figure 1

References

  1. Cohen D, Eisdorfer C. An Integrated Textbook of Geriatric Mental Health. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins Press, 2011.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Tally RC, Crews JE. Caring for the most vulnerable: Framing the public health of caregiving. American Journal of Public Health 2007; 97(2): 224–228.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Siskowski C. Young caregivers: Effect of family health situations on school performance. Journal of School Nursing 2006; 3(3): 163–169.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Shifren K (Ed). How Caregiving Affects Development: Psychological Implications for Child, Adolescent, and Adult Caregivers. Washington, DC, American Psychological Association, 2008.

  5. East P. Children’s provision of family caregiving: Benefit or burden? Child Development Perspectives 2010; 4(1): 55–61.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Chappell N, Penning M. Family caregiving: Increasing demands in the context of 21st-century globalization? In: M Johnson (Ed). The Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 455–462.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Becker S. Global perspectives on children’s unpaid caregiving in the family: Research and policy on "young carers" in the UK, Australia, the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa. Global Social Policy 2007; 7(1): 23–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Ryan A, Fox A. Working with Young Carers in the United Kingdom. London: Princess Royal Trust for Carers, 2003.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Ireland M, Pakenham K. The nature of youth care tasks in families experiencing chronic illness/disability: Development of the youth activities in caregiving scale (YACS). Psychology & Health 2010; 25(6): 713–731.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Doran T, Drever T, Whitehead M. Health of young and elderly carers: An analysis of UK census data. British Medical Journal 2003; 327(7428): 1388.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. National Alliance for Caregiving/United Hospital Fund. Young Caregivers in the U.S.: Report of Findings. Bethesda, MD: National Alliance for Caregiving, 2005.

  12. National Alliance for Caregiving/American Association of Retired Persons. Caregiving in the U.S. Bethesda, MD: National Alliance for Caregiving, 2004.

  13. National Alliance for Caregiving/American Association of Retired Persons. Caregiving in the U.S. 2009. Bethesda, MD: National Alliance for Caregiving, 2009.

  14. Goodnow J, Lawrence J. Work contributions to the family: Developing a conceptual and research framework. In: A Fuligni (Ed). Family Obligation and Assistance during Adolescence: Contextual Variations and Developmental Obligations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001, pp. 5–22.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Kupermine G, Jurkovic G, Casey S. Relationship of filial responsibility to the personal and social adjustment of Latino adolescents from immigrant families. Journal of Family Psychology 2009; 23(1): 14–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Burton I. Child adultification in economically disadvantaged families: A conceptual model. Family Relations 2007; 56(4): 329–345.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Becker F, Becker S. Young Adult Carers in the UK: Experiences, Needs, and Services for Carers Aged 16–24. London: The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Young H, Grundy E, Jitlal M. Care Providers, Care Receivers: A Longitudinal Perspective. York, United Kingdom: Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Peterson J, Zill N. Marital disruption, parent child relationships, and behavior problems in children. Journal of Marriage and the Family 1986; 48(2): 295 – 307.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Byrd R, Weitzman M, Auinger P. Increased behavioral problems associated with delayed school entry and delayed school progress. Pediatrics 1997; 100(4): 654–661.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Connor-Smith J, Compas B, Wadsworth M, et al. Responses to stress in adolescence: Measurement of coping and involuntary responses to stress. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2000; 68(6): 976 – 992.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Diener E, Emmons R, Larsen R, et al. The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment 1985; 49(1): 71–75.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Muthén B. Latent variable modeling in heterogeneous populations. Psychometrika 1989; 54(4): 557–585.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Gallo J, Anthony J, Muthen B. Age differences in the symptoms of depression: A latent trait analysis. Journal of Gerontology 1994; 49(6): P251-P264.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Blanco C, Harford T, Nunes E, et al. The latent structure of marijuana and cocaine use disorders: Results from the national longitudinal epidemiologic survey (NLAES). Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2007; 91(1): 91–96.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Muthen L, Muthen B. Mplus: Statistical Analysis with Latent Variables (Version 6, Computer Software). Los Angeles: Methuen&Methuen, 2007.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Dumenci L, Achenbach T. Effects of estimation methods on making trait-level inferences from ordered categorical items for assessing psychopathology. Psychological Assessment 2008; 20(1): 55–62.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Proitsi P, Hamilton M, Tsolaki M, et al. A multiple indicators multiple causes (MIMIC) model of behavioral and psychological symptoms in dementia (BPSD). Neurobiology of Aging 2011; 32(3): 434–442.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Gallagher-Thompson D, Coon W. Evidence-based psychological treatments for distress in family caregivers of older adults. Psychology of Aging 2007; 22(1): 37–51.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Mazza J, Abbott R, Fleming C, et al. Early predictors of adolescent depression: A 7-year longitudinal study. Journal of Early Adolescence 2009; 29(5): 664–692.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Mazza J, Reynolds W. School-wide approaches to intervention with depression and suicide. In: Doll B, Cummings J (Eds). Transforming School Mental Health Services: Population-Based Approaches to Promoting the Competency and Wellness of Children. Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists, 2008, pp. 213–241.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Diener E, Wirtz D, Tov W, et al. New well-being measures: Short scales to assess flourishing and positive and negative feelings. Social Indicators Research 2010; 97(2): 143–156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Gilman R, Ashby J. A first study of perfectionism and multidimensional life satisfaction among adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence 2003; 23(2): 218–235.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Antaramian S, Huebner E, Valois R. Adolescent life satisfaction. Applied Psychology 2008; 57(Supplement s1): 112–126.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Schulz R, Martire L, Klinger J. Evidence-based caregiver interventions in geriatric psychiatry. Psychiatric Clinics of North America 2005; 28(4): 1007–1038.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Carers Australia. Final Report Bring It: Young Carers Forum. Sydney Australia: Carers Australia, 2009.

  37. Pollard J. International Young Carer Programs. West Perth, Australia: Western Australian Association for Mental Health, 2009.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Conflict of Interest

None of the authors have any conflict of interest to disclose.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Donna Cohen PhD.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Cohen, D., Greene, J.A., Toyinbo, P.A. et al. Impact of Family Caregiving by Youth on Their Psychological Well-Being: A Latent Trait Analysis. J Behav Health Serv Res 39, 245–256 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-011-9264-9

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-011-9264-9

Keywords

  • Life Satisfaction
  • Differential Item Functioning
  • Coping Style
  • Family Caregiving
  • Care Recipient