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J Pediatr Psychol. 2012 Mar;37(2):166-84. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsr081. Epub 2011 Oct 12.

Psychological functioning of siblings in families of children with chronic health conditions: a meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this meta-analysis was to provide an up-to-date review of the literature to enhance our understanding of how chronic health conditions (CHCs) affect siblings, both positively and negatively.

METHODS:

PsycINFO and Medline were systematically searched. Inclusion criteria were as follows: (a) peer-reviewed, empirical research report; (b) sample n ≥ 10; and (c) reports statistics on siblings' internalizing problems, externalizing problems, and/or positive self-attributes.

RESULTS:

Overall, there was a significant small negative effect of CHCs on siblings (d(+) = -.10). Siblings of children with CHCs had more internalizing problems (d(+) = .17), more externalizing problems (d(+) = .08), and less positive self-attributes (d(+) = -.09) than comparisons. Older siblings and siblings of children with life-threatening and/or highly intrusive CHCs were more at risk for psychological problems.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study identified several mechanisms through which CHCs affect siblings. Future research should focus on parent-child dynamics and the longitudinal development of positive self-attributes and internalizing problems as well as on identifying what works in services for siblings of children with CHCs.

PMID:
21994420
DOI:
10.1093/jpepsy/jsr081
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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