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Parentification Among Young Carers: A Concept Analysis
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal  (IF1.862),  Pub Date : 2021-08-07, DOI: 10.1007/s10560-021-00784-7
Hendricks, Bailey A., Vo, Jacqueline B., Dionne-Odom, J. Nicholas, Bakitas, Marie A.

There are approximately 1.4 million young carers in the United States alone. Being a young carer can result in parentification, a type of role reversal that occurs when children take on the roles and responsibilities of the adult. The purpose of this concept analysis is to provide a better understanding of the phenomenon of parentification among young carers through a description of its antecedents, attributes, and consequences using the steps of Rodgers’ evolutionary method. The databases CINAHL, PubMed, PsycINFO, and Scopus were searched to identify 25 articles. The antecedents of the concept include the dependency of the care receiver and the child’s adoption of a caregiving role. The attributes include fairness, obligation, resiliency, individuation, confidence in performing care tasks, cultural normalcy, family system functioning, support system, family resources, caregiver-care receiver relationship, and awareness of the child’s needs. Parentification has both positive and negative consequences that impact the young carer. The antecedents, consequences, and identifiable attributes of the concept are presented through this work to provide a comprehensive picture of parentification among young carers. These findings showcase the multidimensional nature of parentification and the broad impact that it can have on young carers. While these findings do provide greater insight into young carers, the fact remains that little is known about this underserved and underacknowledged population. This concept analysis provides a foundation of understanding that specifies potential targets for intervention development, as well as modifiable outcomes, that can be explored through future research and intervention work.