ERIC Number: ED315963
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Helping as Coping by Siblings of the Disabled.
Midlarsky, Elizabeth; Hannah, Mary Elizabeth
Research has shown that siblings can experience either negative or positive mental health outcomes as a result of having a brother or sister with disabilities. When maladjustment occurs, it is frequently attributed to the stress of excessive helping. This research-based paper proposes that siblings of children with disabilities, perceiving themselves as voluntarily providing moderate amounts of help, are likely to experience lower amounts of psychological distress and greater psychological well-being than siblings with different experiences within the family. A conceptual model is proposed in which helping may be associated with positive outcomes, as the sibling may derive critical benefits by alleviating emotional distress and curtailing the sense of helplessness that may result from being a victim of stressful circumstances. In the model, three antecedents impact on the voluntary adoption of a helper role: demographic factors, personality variables, and situational factors. Research in support of the model is presented, focusing on the predisposition to help, helping behaviors, and mental health outcomes. Contains 112 references. (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Society for Research in Child Development (Kansas City, MO, April 27-30, 1989).