ERIC Number: ED309849
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Sibling Relationships and Adjustment in Children with Disabled and Nondisabled Brothers and Sisters.
McHale, Susan M.; And Others
A study was made of relationships between particular family dynamics and the well-being of children with disabled siblings. Attention focused on the relation to children's adjustment of three issues emphasized in the literature: (1) children's family responsibilities, including sibling caregiving and household tasks, which may be more demanding for children with disabled siblings; (2) potential stresses arising from the sibling relationship; and (3) feelings of rivalry that may arise in children due to the preferential treatement disabled siblings appear to receive from parents. A total of 62 youngsters of 8-14 years of age and their mothers were interviewed. Half of the youths had a younger mentally retarded sibling; and half had a younger nondisabled sibling. Findings suggest that children's lives are altered in a number of important ways when they grow up with disabled siblings. Data suggest a picture of resilience rather than of vulnerablity. Although some children may be troubled about extra family responsibilities, sibling conflict, or feelings of jealousy and rivalry, these factors generally did not account for substantial variability in children's adjustment. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Kansas City, MO, April 27-30, 1989).