Title

Parentification of Adult Siblings of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Distress, Sibling Relationship Attitudes, and the Role of Social Support

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Background: Typically developing (TD) siblings of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often fulfil caregiving roles as children or adults (i.e., parentification, which can be either parent-focused or sibling-focused).

Method: This study examines how parentification interacts with social support when predicting distress and sibling relationship attitudes in 60 TD adult siblings of individuals with ASD.

Results: Perceived social support served as a moderator. Specifically, TD adult siblings who experienced high parent-focused parentification during childhood and low current social support were most likely to report high distress. TD siblings who reported low sibling-focused parentification during childhood and low current social support were most likely to report less positive attitudes about their relationships with their siblings with ASD.

Conclusions Current findings suggest that perceived social support may serve as a potential point of intervention for reducing distress and improving sibling relationship attitudes among adult TD siblings of those with ASD.

Publication Title

Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability

Volume

42

Issue

4

First Page

320

Last Page

331

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