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Depression and social adjustment in siblings of boys with autism

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Abstract

Compared 22 siblings of autistic boys and 34 other siblings on measures of depression, social adjustment, and the amount of child care and domestic responsibility the siblings carry within the family. The relationship between sibling gender, age, birth order, qualities of the boy with autism, and family characteristics, and siblings' scores on the above measures were examined. Results of this research showed that siblings of autistic boys scored significantly higher on depression than the comparison group, but not on problems of social adjustment. There were no statistically significant gender differences; however, different gender-related patterns emerged on the correlates which may be of theoretical significance for future studies.

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This report derives from the author's dissertation research (Gold, 1990), which studied the siblings and parents of boys with autism. The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Peter Szatmari, Jackie Roberts, and three anonymous reviewers for comments on drafts of this article

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Gold, N. Depression and social adjustment in siblings of boys with autism. J Autism Dev Disord 23, 147–163 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01066424

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