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How do young people ‘do’ family where there is a diagnosis of dementia?

Hall, M and Sikes, P (2016) How do young people ‘do’ family where there is a diagnosis of dementia? Families, Relationships and Societies. ISSN 2046-7435

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Abstract

This article presents data arising from a project that explored 22 children and young people’s experiences of having a parent with dementia. A key theme from the interviews highlighted the implications dementia has for the relationship between children and their parents – specifically, how individuals ‘do’ and display family when their parent’s personality and capacity to function as previously has been undermined. The data illustrate how these young people experience disruptions to existing family practices, and how they perpetuate a relationship with their parent in the face of dementia. It also indicates that these changes in practices – the disruption and acquired significance – contribute to children’s reconceptualisation of their relationship with their parent. This article seeks to add to the literature on family practices (Morgan, 2011) and display (Finch, 2007) by using the experience of dementia to illustrate the importance of family practices when a family experiences ‘crisis’.

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