Psychosocial adjustment in siblings of children with chronic life-threatening illness: a research note.
Stewart DA., Stein A., Forrest GC., Clark DM.
The psychosocial functioning of 10 siblings of children with chronic life-threatening illness and their parents was compared with 10 healthy matched controls. The main differences found were in family relationships, with the index siblings expressing more negative emotion in relation to their fathers than controls, index mothers being less involved in social activities and index fathers being less involved with the extended family. No significant differences were found in any of the measures of depression, anxiety and self concept. Index siblings expressed a number of other concerns such as a fear of the break up of their family after the sick child died. The need for increased awareness of the welfare of healthy siblings as well as closer involvement of the fathers is discussed.