The road to independence: Lived experiences of youth with chronic conditions and their parents compared
Publication of Innovations in Care
S.R. Hilberink, A.L. Staa, van, M.A.C. Peeters | Article | Publication date: 01 January 2014
To gain insight into the development of young persons with chronic conditions towards independence by comparing their lived experiences to those of their parents.
Semi-structured interviews were held with 16 young persons (7 males, 9 females; 15-22 years) and one of their parents (n=16), asking about the young persons' daily lives and their development towards adulthood. Themes were deductively derived from the Skills for Growing Up framework, i.e. agency, living and daily activities, social and intimate relationships, education, work, leisure activities, transportation, and healthcare. Parents also reflected on how they dealt with the child's chronic condition. A paired thematic analysis was conducted.
Parents were often less convinced that their children could act independently than the young persons themselves. They were concerned about them and tended to interfere with their daily lives, often to the annoyance of their children. Also, parents often perceived more barriers in social participation, while young persons were more positive.
The perceptions of young persons and their parents clashed on living independently, intimate relationships, leisure activities, and healthcare. Young people might benefit from professional support in these domains to help them strengthen their autonomy and to prevent child-parent conflict and negative outcomes.