Does growing up with a chronically ill and/or disabled sibling affect one’s personality?

  • M. Jagla
  • A. Trachte
  • A. Zeuner
  • G.H. Franke

Abstract

Background: Growing up with a chronically ill and/or disabled sibling is a special life situation. Due to the illness/ disability, the siblings are often not treated equally by their parents and other persons. Aim of the study is to investigate whether this circumstances have effects on personality factors as well as on justice sensitivity and locus of control at a later age. Methods: 290 affected and 290 non-affected siblings (parallelized, 31 years ±11, 88% female) were examined by using three short questionnaires to assess the Big-Five personality factors as well as justice sensitivity and locus of control. Results: A 25-item version was used to assess the Big Five. Significant differences between the two groups (F=6.48, p≤.0001, ŋ2=.053) were found during simultaneous examination of the five scales. The affected siblings reported higher values in neuroticism and lower values in extraversion and conscientiousness. The simultaneous examination revealed a higher justice sensitivity (F=5.00, p=.001, ŋ2=.033) and a more pronounced external control (F=21.44, p≤.0001, ŋ2=.036) of the affected siblings. Conclusion: The results show that growing up with a chronically ill and/or disabled sibling can have a significant effect on one’s personality. For this reason, it is important to offer help and support in childhood and adolescence, as these persons represent a risk group, but also support through meetings or internet-forum should be offered for adult siblings.
Published
2017-12-31
Section
Poster presentations