This study examined a stress/coping model of adjustment in early caregiving. It was hypothesized that better adjustment would be related to higher social support and approach coping, and lower stress appraisals and avoidant coping. One hundred young carers aged 10-25 years completed questionnaires. Predictors included choice in caregiving, social support, stress appraisal and coping. Dependent variables were global distress and positive outcomes (life satisfaction, positive affect, benefits). Correlations supported all hypothesized relations between the stress/coping predictors and adjustment outcomes. Regression analyses showed social support as the strongest predictor of adjustment, whereas coping and choice in caregiving emerged as weaker predictors and stress appraisal was unrelated to adjustment. The stress/coping framework and findings have the potential to inform interventions designed to promote well-being in young carers. Copyright © 2007 SAGE Publications Ltd.