Resilience Levels in Siblings of Children with Developmental Disabilities
Gabbey, Stephanie T.
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Families and parents of children with disabilities have been identified as resilient, yet have shared many stressors and threats to that resilience. Limited data attempts to investigate resiliency levels in siblings of children with developmental disabilities, with no known research to date evaluating the relationship of resilience levels in siblings of children with developmental disabilities compared to that of typically developing siblings. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare resiliency and coping strategies between siblings of children with developmental disabilities and siblings of typically developing children. Methods: Subjects were recruited through a mass email and flyer distributed to all families within a community school district and a follow-up study was completed recruiting siblings of children with developmental disabilities at the Minnesota State Fair. Children 9-17 years of age were placed into two groups: 1.) siblings of typically developing children (n=42, mean age= 149.33 months) and 2.) siblings of children with developmental disabilities (n=44, mean age= 158.05 months). Each participant completed the Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents: A Profile of Personal Strengths. Resiliency areas were assessed by three subtests: sense of mastery, sense of relatedness and sense of emotional reactivity. Results: An analysis of variance found no statistically significant differences between groups across all subtests (p<0.05). Scatter plots, box plot analyses and correlational data indicate that scores between both groups were similarly varied and showed trends between variables. This indicates that some aspects of resiliency are interrelated and appear to be similarly represented for siblings of children with developmental disabilities and siblings of typically developing children. Conclusion: This study was the first of its kind to analyze resilience levels in siblings of children with developmental disabilities.