Date of Award

10-19-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Babb, Kimberley

Keywords

ADHD, Anxiety, Coping, Depression, Parentification, Stress

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Parentification refers to the intergenerational role-reversal within a family wherein a child is assigned the adult caregiving role. Typically-developing siblings of individuals with developmental disabilities often experience increased caregiving responsibilities compared to their peers (Cuskelly & Gunn, 2003) and face unique challenges within their sibling relationship (Petalas et al., 2009), which may place them at a greater risk for parentification. The purpose of the current study was to compare parentification experiences, coping strategies, and social and behavioural adjustment between 30 siblings (age 17 to 25 years) of individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and 179 siblings of individuals without disabilities. Contrary to predictions, no significant differences in parentification were found between the ADHD and control groups. Higher scores on the parentification variables were associated with distress for the control group, whereas only perceived unfairness was associated with higher levels of distress in the ADHD group. Socially supported coping moderated the relationship between parentification and distress, but only for the control group.

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