Siblings of children with Williams syndrome: Correlates of psychosocial adjustment and sibling relationship quality

Katie Cebula, Amanda Gillooly, Laura K. Coulthard, Deborah M. Rigby, Richard P. Hastings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Previous research has examined adjustment in parents of children with Williams syndrome (WS), but little is known about sibling outcomes.

To explore sibling adjustment and relationship quality, and their demographic, psychological and behavioural phenotypic correlates from the perspective of caregivers and siblings in families of children with WS.

Methods and procedures
Forty-one caregivers of children with WS participated in this questionnaire study on the adjustment and relationship quality of the siblings. In 31 of these families, self-report data were also provided by the siblings themselves. Data were also gathered on potential correlates, including anxiety and social functioning in the child with WS, caregiver mental health, and sibling social support.

Outcomes and results
Sibling adjustment was similar to population norms, though significantly increased caregiver-reported emotional difficulties were found. Siblings reported greater behavioural, emotional and relationship difficulties than caregivers perceived them to have. Some significant associations were found between the behaviour of the child with WS, sibling behaviour problems and sibling relationship quality.

Conclusions and implications
A picture of relatively positive sibling adjustment and relationships emerged, but findings of individual differences and some emotional difficulties emphasise the need for an individualised approach to support in families of children with WS.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103496
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Early online date21 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • family
  • sibling
  • Williams syndrome


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