Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Marriage and Family Therapy: M.S.
Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy
School of Health and Human Services
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
ASD, Siblings, Relationships, Anxiety
This study focused on the impact of differences in functionality of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the potential anxiety experienced by the typically developing (TD) child influencing the relationship quality of the pair. Previous research shows the importance of the relationships between TD children and a sibling with ASD. However, research that focuses on siblings’ relationship quality outside of theory and influencing factors, such as anxiety, functionality, and aggression, is limited, and conclusions on the subject, are mixed. Based on the literature, four hypotheses were developed: (a) the general relationship quality between sibling pairs will significantly increase as the ASD child’s functionality level increases; (b) lower functionality levels in ASD children will increase aggression levels of ASD children; (c) increases in aggression in the ASD child will directly and negatively impact relationship quality in the TD siblings’ report of relationship quality; and (d) anxiety levels of the TD siblings will indirectly influence TD siblings’ report of relationship quality. The study examined 13 pairs of parent/guardian and TD siblings who completed the ASD Assessment Scale/Screening Questionnaire, the modified overt aggression scale, the children’s anxiety scale, and the Network of Relationships-Relationship Qualities Version. Although Spearman’s rank order correlations matrix showed ASD functionality significantly correlated with NRI subcategories satisfaction and dominance, as well as anxiety with satisfaction, it did not support the hypotheses strongly enough. In addition, we ran an independent t-test between NRI subcategories and anxiety grouped from no to mild and moderate to high.
Wolter, Sarah E., "Relationship Quality of Typically Developing Children and Their Autistic Siblings: A Comparison by Functionality and Anxiety" (2019). Culminating Projects in Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy. 69.