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Exploring the resilience and identity of young carers in higher education: A thematic analysis.

Jones, Laura (2018) Exploring the resilience and identity of young carers in higher education: A thematic analysis. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Although previous research has found that young-adult carers can report positive outcomes from their caring experience (Rose and Cohen, 2010). Contemporary research continues to focus on the global, negative label attached to young-adult carers as vulnerable (Green et al., 2017). The aim of this study was to adopt a positive psychology approach to further explore the underlying dynamics surrounding the development of resilience and positive identities in young adult carers studying at college and university. A qualitative, naturalistic inquiry approach to the study was adopted from an interpretative phenomenological epistemology. One-to-one semi structured interviews with a purposive sample of five young adult carers was the method of data collection. Thematic analysis of the data allowed two superordinate themes to be constructed - Motivation and The Self and Resilience: The Transition from Burden to Coping. The analysis found that the young-adult carers interviewed could recall positive outcomes from their caring experience relating to their identity, and their ability to rise to the challenge of higher education. The implications, strengths and weaknesses of the study are also discussed.

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