Understanding of ASD by Siblings is Associated with Warmth and Hostility in the Sibling Relationship

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) impacts not only the child with ASD, but also the entire family system, including siblings. The present study examined perceptions of the sibling relationship in brothers and sisters of children with ASD, as well as how understanding of autism (symptoms, long-term implications of the disorder) in siblings of children with ASD is related to the sibling’s perceptions of quality of the sibling relationship. Siblings (N = 44, Mean Age = 10.4 years, SD = 2.6) of children with ASD were administered an interview assessing their understanding of ASD and self-report questionnaires measuring their perception of the sibling relationship quality. The more siblings understood about ASD, the more hostility they reported by their sibling with ASD. Age of the sibling, conversely, was negatively associated with both hostile and warm behavior by the brother or sister with ASD towards the sibling. More understanding of autism may be associated with more contention within the sibling relationship, whereas older siblings may spend less time with their brother or sister with autism. Results have implications for improving sibling relationship quality, as well as elucidating the complexity of sibling relationships. These findings have further implications for the development of support systems with use of coping skills for improving the quality of the sibling relationship.






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Coffman, MC, N Kelso, L Antezana, M Braconnier, JA Richey and J Wolf (2021). Understanding of ASD by Siblings is Associated with Warmth and Hostility in the Sibling Relationship. Journal of Child and Family Studies. 10.1007/s10826-021-01945-z Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22728.

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