Janes, Edward

Janes, Edward
Start date:
October 2017
Research Topic:
Young carers and mental health
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Prof Donald Forrester and Dr GJ Melendez
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Caring lives: What do young people who care for family members need to thrive?

Young carers are children and young people who care for members of their families who have a disability or long term illness. Their responsibilities vary with the person who they care for and the nature of their illness, and previous research has found a diverse range of impacts on their lives.

The mixed methods research aims to build on previous research by developing and refining a theory of the causal relationship between being a young carer and mental health. My research questions include:

  1. What are the mental health impacts of caring for a family member over time, and how does their mental health compare with their peers?
  2. What are the causal mechanisms underpinning young carers and mental health?
  3. Is there a need to better support young carers, and what could a positive support intervention look like?

The research stages are as follows:

  1. To develop a realist synthesis of previous young carers literature, leading to the development of an initial theory.
  2. Longitudinal quantitative analysis of young carers and mental health with analysis of change over time and comparison with the wider population.
  3. Qualitative work with young carers to further test and refine the theory.
  4. Consideration of the need for a positive support intervention for young carers.