The wellbeing of siblings of children with disabilities

Eric Emerson, Rebecca Giallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aims of our study were: (1) to estimate the extent of differences in wellbeing between siblings of children with disabilities or long-term health conditions and siblings of 'typically developing' children in a nationally representative cohort of Australian children (the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children); (2) to determine whether any between-group differences in wellbeing may be potentially attributable to between-group differences in exposure to socio-economic disadvantage. The results of our analyses were consistent with the existing literature in indicating that, in unadjusted comparisons, the siblings of children with long-term health conditions or disabilities: (1) had lower wellbeing than their peers on some, but not all, indicators of wellbeing; and (2) that where differences did exist the effect sizes were small. Our results add to the existing literature in: (1) indicating that adjusting for between-group differences in exposure to low SEP and associated adversities eliminated the statistical significance of unadjusted comparisons in the majority of instances; and (2) failing to find any evidence of deterioration over time in the wellbeing of siblings with long-term health conditions or disabilities over a two-year period from age 4/5 to age 6/7.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2085-2092
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume35
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Childhood
  • Disability
  • Emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • Mental health
  • Siblings

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