This research contributes a first-hand account of the experiences of youth’s substantial unpaid familial caregiving in the context of long-term illness, disability or problems related to alcohol and/or other drugs. A qualitative focus group methodology explored the benefits and challenges of youth’s caregiving via a sample of 15 youth caregivers (or young carers) from both the Greater Toronto area and the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario. The findings reveal evidence for a unique “young carer penalty,” a term coined by this research to build upon the gendered “care penalty” experienced by adult women (especially mothers) when performing care work.
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