Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Roger R. Ries


Forty mothers of children with retardation and forty-one mothers of children without disabilities rated their nondisabled children on levels of in-home responsibility and psychological adjustment. Siblings of children with retardation were found to show significantly more difficulty in psychological adjustment but not more in-home responsibility. Mean scores on ratings of psychological adjustment were in the normal range for both groups. There was no relationship between the degree of responsibility the sibling had in the home and the degree of psychological difficulty. Girls in both groups had significantly more responsibility than boys. Mothers of children with disabilities did not report closer relationships with nondisabled siblings than mothers of nondisabled children did with their children. Siblings of children with disabilities also did not engage in more activities that could be considered altruistic. The possible positive impact of responsibility in childhood is discussed, with special attention to the potential negative implications as girls grow older. Implications for clinical practice are examined.



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