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Healthy siblings' adjustment to chronic illness in a brother or sister

Smith, Victoria; (1998) Healthy siblings' adjustment to chronic illness in a brother or sister. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The present study aimed to assess (1) well siblings' adjustment (positive and negative aspects), (2) level of parental awareness of well siblings' cognitions about the illness and its impact on their everyday lives, and (3) families' views of the appropriateness of Clinical Psychology services for healthy siblings. The participants were a well sibling and mother from 62 families of children with a range of chronic illnesses. The study's design was cross-sectional, and questionnaire-based within a structured interview format. Qualitative data was collected to illustrate quantitative findings. Well siblings appeared to be at low risk of overall maladjustment, compared to children in the normal population. The majority of well siblings were displaying a high level of pro-social behaviours. The factors most strongly associated with well siblings' adjustment were parental awareness of well siblings' cognitive responses to the illness and the burden of care demanded by the illness. There was no evidence of parental awareness being a mediating factor between well siblings' adjustment and parental adjustment. Mothers rated well siblings as having significantly more negative cognitions about the illness than reported by well siblings themselves. These results supported McCubbin and Patterson's (1983) systemic model of family adjustment. Implications of the findings are considered for families, researchers and clinicians. Most mothers and well siblings reported that Clinical Psychology services were not appropriate to the siblings' needs at the present time. Many parents commented that they would like to be supported in helping their healthy children themselves.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Healthy siblings' adjustment to chronic illness in a brother or sister
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Psychology; Chronic illness; Siblings
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099290
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