The role of family and individual factors in going through adolescence having a disabled sibling – analysis of a healthy child’s functioning. A case-control study protocol
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Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Laboratory of Psychological and Educational Tests, Gdansk, Poland
Submission date: 2024-01-15
Final revision date: 2024-01-31
Acceptance date: 2024-01-31
Online publication date: 2024-03-05
Corresponding author
Ariadna B. Łada-Maśko   

Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Health Psychology Report 2024;12(2):173-181
Having a disabled sibling can be a source of extremely important and enriching experiences that foster the development of social and emotional competences, as well as broadening the child’s perspective and knowledge. On the other hand, it also poses many challenges for the siblings, especially in adolescence. Thus, the aim of the proposed project is to investigate the specificity of the growing up process in young people with disabled siblings.

Participants and procedure:
A total of 160 dyads (320 participants) – an adolescent and one of his/her parents – will take part in this cross-sectional case-control study. Participants will be assigned to four groups, having a sibling with: 1) intellectual disability, 2) motor disability, 3) chronic somatic disease, and 4) the control group – having a sibling without any disability. Both the healthy adolescent and one of the parents will fill out a set of questionnaires regarding the study variables: Questionnaire of Rela-tionships with Siblings, Parental Attitude Scale-2, KidScreen-27, Parentification Questionnaire for Youth, Teenage Rebellion Questionnaire, Child Behavior Checklist 6-18.

The primary outcomes include investigating the healthy adolescent functioning in three environments: family, peers and school. The proposed research model focuses both on the difficulties associated with having a disabled sibling (e.g. possible occurrence of disorders) and resources (e.g. higher quality of relationships in the family, especially in the sibling subsys-tem).

The proposed comprehensive approach to the issue of disability in the family from the perspective of a healthy child will allow for a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the process of growing up with disabled siblings.

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