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Adult sibling experience, roles, relationshhips and future concerns - a review of the literture in learning disabilities

Davys, D, Mitchell, D and Haigh, CA 2011, 'Adult sibling experience, roles, relationshhips and future concerns - a review of the literture in learning disabilities' , Journal of Clinical Nursing .

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      Abstract

      Aim: this paper provides a review of the literature related to adult siblings of learning disabled people. Background: siblings of learning disabled people are often looked upon as next of kin when older parents die however there is little research regarding sibling views and wishes. Design: a literature review of published peer reviewed empirical research was undertaken. Method: electronic databases and citation tracking were used to collate data using key terms such as adult siblings and learning disability. Relevant articles were analysed, compared and contrasted. Results: six key themes emerged suggesting a varied impact of learning disability upon sibling lives in areas that include life choices, relationships, identity and future plans. Some siblings report a positive impact upon life, others state their lives are comparable with other adults who do not have a learning disabled sibling and others still report a negative impact. Sibling roles and relationships are varied. Evidence suggests that sibling roles, relationships and experience are affected by life stage. Parents often have a primary care role for the disabled person whilst siblings perform a more distant role, however sibling involvement often rises when parents are no longer able to provide previous levels of support. Conclusion: many factors appear to affect the sibling experience and uptake of roles including gender, life stage and circumstances, level of disability, health status and relationships between family members. Siblings are concerned about the future, particularly when parents are no longer able to provide support and many appear to have expectations of future responsibilities regarding their disabled sibling. Relevance to practice: as siblings of people who have a learning disability are often expected by society to provide support, it is important that health and social care practitioners are aware of issues that may impact on this relationship.

      Item Type: Article
      Uncontrolled Keywords: adult siblings, learning disabilities, sibling relationships, family, disability
      Themes: Health and Wellbeing
      Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care
      Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Health Sciences
      Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Clinical Nursing
      Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
      Refereed: Yes
      ISSN: 0962-1067
      Depositing User: Dr D Davys
      Date Deposited: 17 May 2011 10:07
      Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 17:52
      URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/15803

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