Role of first generation college students in caring for older relatives
First generation college students (FGCS) have no family collegiate history and must overcome special challenges in adapting to the college environment. They also may have family responsibilities such as caring for older relatives. This paper compared the roles of FGCS non- FGCS in caring for older relatives. 1445 college students at a large university completed an online survey. 74% were females and 34% were FGCS. Most FGCS were non-white (66%) and female (77%). 71% of all students assisted in taking care of relatives in some way. Care receivers were grandparents (68%), parents (24%), and other family members (8%). Students were informal caregivers everyday (4%), a few days/week (9%), a few days/month (26%), and a few times/year (60%). FGCS were significantly more likely than their peers to assist their older relatives in seven of eight tasks: making medical appointments (P<0.0001), accompanying them to a medical appointment (P<0.002), helping to understand written materials (P<0.0001), acting as a translator (P<0.0001), filling out medical/insurance forms (P<0.0001), understanding medication usage (P<0.0001), and explaining medication side effects (P<0.0001). There was no significant difference in going online for health information (P>.05). FGCS were significantly more likely than their peers to assist their older relatives in four of nine activities of daily living: dressing (P<0.0001), grooming (P<0.0001), oral care (P<0.001), and toileting ((P<0.03). There were no significant differences in helping with bathing, feeding, transferring, walking, and climbing stairs (P>.05). Opportunities exist for colleges and universities to assist FGCS in balancing academics, college life, and family caregiving responsibilities.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Identify the roles of first generation college students in caring for older relatives.
Keyword(s): Caregivers, College Students
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an associate professor who conducts research in aging
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
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