Table of Contents
ISRN Family Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 737356, 8 pages
Research Article

Impact of Growing Up with a Chronically Ill Sibling on Well Siblings' Late Adolescent Functioning

Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, MS 4235, College Station, TX 77843, USA

Received 26 December 2012; Accepted 14 January 2013

Academic Editors: S. Dastgiri and L. Nystrom

Copyright © 2013 Sasha A. Fleary and Robert W. Heffer. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study was to explore the continuing impact of growing up with an ill sibling on well siblings' late adolescent functioning. Forty late adolescents ( , ), who identified themselves as growing up with an ill sibling, completed a semistructured interview, demographic questionnaire, Personality Assessment Screener, and My Feelings and Concerns Sibling Questionnaire. Participants reported clinically significant problems on some PAS scales, and gender differences were found for acting out and alienation. Significant relationships were reported for communication and social withdrawal and alienation. Both positive and negative themes about the experience were elicited from the responses in the semistructured interview. This study provides evidence for some lingering negative effects of growing up with an ill sibling on well siblings' late adolescent functioning. Additionally, evidence for siblings' development of positive characteristics that may act as protective variables as they face the stressors of late adolescence was also highlighted.