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J Pediatr Psychol. 2002 Dec;27(8):699-710.

Siblings of children with a chronic illness: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Regina, Sasketchewan, Canada. sharped@uregina.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review the literature pertaining to the siblings of children with a chronic illness.

METHODS:

Fifty-one published studies and 103 effect sizes were identified and examined through meta-analysis.

RESULTS:

We found (1) a modest, negative effect size statistic existed for siblings of children with a chronic illness relative to comparison participants or normative data; (2) heterogeneity existed for those effect sizes; (3) parent reports were more negative than child self-reports; (4) psychological functioning (i.e., depression, anxiety), peer activities, and cognitive development scores were lower for siblings of children with a chronic illness compared to controls; and (5) a cluster of chronic illnesses with daily treatment regimes was associated with negative effect statistics compared to chronic illnesses that did not affect daily functioning.

CONCLUSIONS:

More methodologically sound studies investigating the psychological functioning of siblings of children with a chronic illness are needed. Clinicians need to know that siblings of children with a chronic illness are at risk for negative psychological effects. Intervention programs for the siblings and families of children with a chronic illness should be developed.

PMID:
12403860
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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