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Social and Behavioral Outcomes of Siblings of Children with Autism
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This study utilized an integrated family systems and diathesis stress model when investigating social and behavioral outcomes of siblings of children with autism. The study compared siblings of children with autism (n = 11) to a control group (n = 14 to look at social skills, externalizing behavior problems, internalizing behavior problems, and parent stress. The study also examined other factors potentially related to social and behavioral outcomes of siblings of children with autism such as age of siblings, sibling sex, and potential subthreshold levels of autistics symptoms. The study further examined factors such as family size, age of sibling, parental stress, and severity of autism in relation to their ability to predict outcomes related to parental stress, sibling social skills, externalizing behaviors, and internalizing behaviors of siblings of children with autism. Results this study found that siblings of children with autism did not exhibit more externalizing behavior problems, internalizing behavior problems, or greater delays in social skills than members of the control group. Further, birth order and sibling sex did not impact any social or behavioral outcome for siblings of children with autism in the study. The study did find that parents of children with autism experience more overall stress than parents of typically developing children. Additionally, parental stress was found to account for variance in externalizing behavior problems in siblings of children with autism.
Karren, Benjamin Charles (2017). Social and Behavioral Outcomes of Siblings of Children with Autism. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from