The research, conducted with over 350 unpaid young carers from groups around the country, compares the findings with a YouGov poll of 457 non-carers aged 8 to 15, revealing that young carers are less happy, more worried, sadder and more confused than their peers.
When asked what sort of things they worried about, the young carers were twice as worried about money, and much more worried about bullying, exams, the future and, of course, their families.
Around 48% said that being a young carer made them feel stressed and 44% said it made them feel tired. But despite that, 51% reported that they were proud of being young carers, and 42% that it made them happy.
The research also reveals that a quarter of young carers don’t have enough people to talk to, and 28% said they would like to talk to other young carers online.
For this reason Carers Trust is launching a new online community and website for this age group called Babble, which will provide friendship and support online for young carers under 18.
Find out more about Babble.
Dr Moira Fraser, Interim Chief Executive of Carers Trust, says: “We know from what young people tell us that caring responsibilities can have a big impact on young carers’ mental wellbeing, and this survey really brings home the scale of the issue.
“This is also the first time we’ve been able to compare young carers’ feelings to other children and young people. It shows just how much Babble is needed to combat the risk of isolation and to make sure these young people are as happy and supported as they can be”.