Siblings of children with ADHD, chronic illness and developmental disorder : psychological impact and interventions

Wilson, Claire

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; Psychology
July 2009

Thesis or dissertation

© 2009 Claire Wilson. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This portfolio thesis comprises three parts: a systematic literature review, an empirical study and a set of appendixes.
Part one is a systematic literature review, in which the empirical literature relating to interventions for siblings of children with chronic illness and developmental disorder is reviewed. Siblings of children with such conditions have not been extensively studied within research and the review aimed to identify what interventions exist to support siblings in this area, to provide an overview of how rigorously these have been evaluated and to synthesise what findings have been documented with regards to the effectiveness of such interventions. An introduction to family and sibling research in this area is presented, followed by a rationale for why a review of intervention based literature in this area is considered to be a useful addition to the field. The paper goes on to specify the methods and search strategies used to identify suitable articles to meet the research aims and which satisfied set criteria for inclusion. Main findings are presented, conclusions made, and areas for further research identified.

Part two is an empirical study of siblings of children with ADHD. Part one highlighted the paucity of research in the domain of siblings and developmental disorder. The cross-sectional study examines the level of empathy, self-esteem, and the sibling relationship quality factors of warmth/closeness and conflict reported by a sample of siblings of children with ADHD, and compares these variables to a sample of children who have siblings with no diagnosed disorders. The paper reports the between groups outcomes for these variables, along with an examination of whether children‘s individual characteristics such as empathy and self-esteem predict reports of warmth/closeness and conflict, based on Furman and Buhrmester‘s (1985) model of the determinants of sibling relationship quality. This is followed by an explanation of the clinical implications, the limitations of the study and consideration of further areas of research.

Finally, part three is a set of appendixes to support the work in the previous parts of the portfolio thesis. It contains a reflective account of the research process and documents the experiences and lessons learned in planning, implementing and writing this document.

Postgraduate Medical Institute, The University of Hull
Crane, Claudine
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