The Relationship Between Social and Behavioral Problems with Socio-Demographic Variables Among Siblings of Children with Autism

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Faris Ali Abdul-Jabbar, Qahtan Q. Mohammed


Background: Numerous studies show that healthy siblings of autistic children are at risk for social and behavioural issues. These research evaluated autistic siblings' variables. This study will examine the association between social and behavioural issues and the socio‐demographic variables of the siblings of the child with autism.

Method: A descriptive analytic design of 70 subjects at AL-Hilla City ASD care and rehabilitation centers. The questionnaire was verified by experts for validity. The tool detects childhood psychopathology, social, and behavioral issues. Each item had only "not true," "somewhat true or always true" options. Five subscales are created from the 25 items. These subscales assess conduct, inattentiveness or hyperactivity, emotional symptoms, peer issues, and pro-social behavior. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis collected and analyzed data.

Results: The result revealed that 45.7% of the siblings was “6-less than 9 years”, 54.3% of them are the “youngest”. 37.1% of siblings show abnormal emotional problems based on score of emotional scale (M±SD= 3.89 ± 2.096). 62.9% of siblings of children with autism have abnormal social and behavioural difficulties, 37.1% have abnormal emotional problems, 64.3% have abnormal conduct behaviour, 24.3% have abnormal hyperactivity, 85.8% have abnormal peer problems, and 45.8% have abnormal prosocial behaviour.

Conclusions: there is no significant difference in overall social and behavioral problems with regard to siblings’ gender, but there is significant difference in emotional symptoms with regard to siblings’ gender. there is significant relationship between emotional problems and siblings’ gender at p-value= .012. While there is no significant relationship has been found with remaining variables.

Recommendations: the Ministry of Education direct public and private schools to conduct a program to assess the social and behavioral problems included emotional problems of siblings of autistic children. Using more sensitive tools in future studies with experimental studies and comparing the outcomes of the child with autism's siblings to their peers without siblings with autism. Considering the  autistic child's features, such as the severity of the disability or siblings' relationship, as well as siblings' and parents' traits.

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