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Latino siblings of children with developmental disabilities at risk
Date:2/16/2011

nce of sibling relationships and caretaking responsibilities while discouraging open verbal expression of sibling-related distress.

The study included 100 siblings and parents of children with developmental disabilities, and 100 siblings and parents of typically developing children. Each group was divided evenly between Latinos and non-Latinos. Siblings were between the ages of 8 and 15 years old.

Researchers interviewed siblings, parents and teachers to fully examine the psychological and school functioning of Latino and non-Latino siblings of children with developmental disabilities. Parents or teachers provided copies of the most recent report card for all siblings to gather information about siblings' grades and number of school absences.

According to the findings, Latino siblings of children with a disability were at higher risk for negative outcomes. In addition to experiencing impoverished economic conditions and more difficulties in their personal functioning and relationships, they also reported higher internalizing behaviors particularly separation anxiety and agoraphobia and were less likely to express their emotions.

"We can only speculate about why Latino brothers and sisters of special needs children respond by internalizing their emotions," said Lobato, adding that there may be both direct (e.g. sibling worry about their brother or sister) as well as indirect (disruptions in the parent-sibling relationship) ways that a child's disability affects Latino siblings.

When researchers looked at school functioning, they found Latino siblings of children with developmental disabilities had significantly more school absences, which their parents were more likely to attribute to the child with the disability. Greater family obligations, such as providing translation for parents at their sibling's medical appointments, as well as siblings' anxiety regarding separation from their parents may have influenced school
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Contact: Jessica Collins Grimes
jgrimes2@lifespan.org
401-793-7484
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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