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Adjustment of children who have a sibling with Down syndrome: perspectives of mothers, fathers and children.
J Intellect Disabil Res. 2006 Dec; 50(Pt 12):917-25.JI

Abstract

BACKGROUND

A number of methodological weaknesses have contributed to our relatively poor understanding of the impact on children of having a brother or sister with a disability. These include a focus on poor adjustment, using multidiagnostic groups, inadequate matching, and a failure to consider the perspectives of children and parents together.

METHOD

This study compared the adjustment of 53 siblings of a child with Down syndrome with a comparison group of siblings of children who were developing typically. Children were matched on a case-by-case basis for gender, age and position in family. Families were matched for family size and father's occupation. The age range of the target siblings was 7-14 years. Data were gathered from mothers, fathers and siblings.

RESULTS

There were no significant differences between the groups on adjustment measures. These included parent perceptions of externalizing and internalizing behaviours, parent perceptions of sibling competence, and sibling perceptions of their own competence and self-worth. Associations between measures of adjustment and child reports of their contribution to household functioning depended on sex rather than group membership. There was an association between parental reports of externalizing behaviour and sibling relationships with the brother/sister closest in age.

CONCLUSIONS

Having a brother or sister with Down syndrome does not inevitably lead to poor adjustment. Examination of within-family processes would appear to be more useful in identifying children at risk than merely group membership.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Education, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. m.cuskelly@uq.edu.auNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

17100952

Citation

Cuskelly, M, and P Gunn. "Adjustment of Children Who Have a Sibling With Down Syndrome: Perspectives of Mothers, Fathers and Children." Journal of Intellectual Disability Research : JIDR, vol. 50, no. Pt 12, 2006, pp. 917-25.
Cuskelly M, Gunn P. Adjustment of children who have a sibling with Down syndrome: perspectives of mothers, fathers and children. J Intellect Disabil Res. 2006;50(Pt 12):917-25.
Cuskelly, M., & Gunn, P. (2006). Adjustment of children who have a sibling with Down syndrome: perspectives of mothers, fathers and children. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research : JIDR, 50(Pt 12), 917-25.
Cuskelly M, Gunn P. Adjustment of Children Who Have a Sibling With Down Syndrome: Perspectives of Mothers, Fathers and Children. J Intellect Disabil Res. 2006;50(Pt 12):917-25. PubMed PMID: 17100952.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Adjustment of children who have a sibling with Down syndrome: perspectives of mothers, fathers and children. AU - Cuskelly,M, AU - Gunn,P, PY - 2006/11/15/pubmed PY - 2007/2/21/medline PY - 2006/11/15/entrez SP - 917 EP - 25 JF - Journal of intellectual disability research : JIDR JO - J Intellect Disabil Res VL - 50 IS - Pt 12 N2 - BACKGROUND: A number of methodological weaknesses have contributed to our relatively poor understanding of the impact on children of having a brother or sister with a disability. These include a focus on poor adjustment, using multidiagnostic groups, inadequate matching, and a failure to consider the perspectives of children and parents together. METHOD: This study compared the adjustment of 53 siblings of a child with Down syndrome with a comparison group of siblings of children who were developing typically. Children were matched on a case-by-case basis for gender, age and position in family. Families were matched for family size and father's occupation. The age range of the target siblings was 7-14 years. Data were gathered from mothers, fathers and siblings. RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the groups on adjustment measures. These included parent perceptions of externalizing and internalizing behaviours, parent perceptions of sibling competence, and sibling perceptions of their own competence and self-worth. Associations between measures of adjustment and child reports of their contribution to household functioning depended on sex rather than group membership. There was an association between parental reports of externalizing behaviour and sibling relationships with the brother/sister closest in age. CONCLUSIONS: Having a brother or sister with Down syndrome does not inevitably lead to poor adjustment. Examination of within-family processes would appear to be more useful in identifying children at risk than merely group membership. SN - 0964-2633 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17100952/Adjustment_of_children_who_have_a_sibling_with_Down_syndrome:_perspectives_of_mothers_fathers_and_children_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2788.2006.00922.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -