ERIC Number: ED312846
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: N/A
Siblings of Handicapped Children: Assessing the Need for and Impact of Their Early Education. Final Report.
Lobato, Debra; Miller, Carol T.
The project examined the psychosocial functioning of preschool-aged siblings of handicapped children in comparison to a matched control group of siblings of non-handicapped children. The project then examined the psychosocial effects of increasing sibling understanding of and involvement with the handicapped child via participation in a 6-week sibling workshop program. Subjects were 24 children, aged 3 to 7, who had a sibling with a handicapping condition. Results based on parental questionnaires and pre- and post-interviews of the children indicated few statistically significant differences in psychosocial functioning. Having a handicapped sibling was not associated with differences between children on measures of empathy, verbalized affect toward parents or siblings, understanding of disability terms, or perceived self-competence and acceptance. Significant differences between the groups were uncovered only on measures of functioning obtained through maternal reports, which may have been due to mothers' perceptions being influenced by stress factors and not the siblings' actual behavior. Enrollment in the sibling workshop program failed to produce measurable changes in psychosocial functioning. Parents, however, were enthusiastic about their child's participation, expressing satisfaction that a special program was designed for their "neglected" non-handicapped child. An appendix contains explanations of the measures of videotaped behavior and a description of sibling workshop activities. (JDD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Vermont Univ., Burlington.