DESCRIPTORS *Disabilities; Elementary Secondary Education; Family


The study compared the self-concepts of siblings of handicapped children with norms and examined mediators for this personality variable. Thirty-four siblings of handicapped children (2-15 years old) from the United States and Canada completed a children's self-concept scale while their parents filled out two questionnaires: one on parental attitudes and stress regarding the presence of the handicapped child and the other on the family's social support. The results showed the siblings displaying as high a self-concept as norms. The sex of the handicapped child emerged as a predictor for the self-concept of their siblings: a handicapped brother had more negative impact on a sibling, male or female. Parental attitudes and stress due to parent and child problems in caring for the handicapped child were related to the siblings' self-concept regarding their personal happiness and satisfaction. Parental pessimism showed the same trend. Support from grandparents and relatives assuaged anxiety in the siblings but excessive support tended to lower their self-confidence in their physical appearance and academic competence. (Author/CL) * Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be made * * from the original document.

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