Symptoms of Depression in Siblings of Children with ADHD
Having a sibling with a disability has been found to have negative psychological effects, such as depression; however, very little research has focused solely on siblings of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The current study attempted to highlight whether siblings of children with ADHD experience depression symptomology to a greater degree than siblings of children without disabilities. Participants were included in the current study based on meeting the following criteria: target participants were between the ages of 6 and 17 with a biological sibling who may or may not carry a diagnosis of ADHD. Families came from 2 groups based on the siblings' diagnosis. Seven families with at least 1 child with ADHD, and 11 families with all non-disabled children participated. Parents were asked to complete an informed consent and demographic questionnaire, as well as the Conners Rating Scale for ADHD, Third Edition, Short Form (Conners-3) on the target participant to ensure that he/she did not meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Target participants were asked to complete an assent form, as well as the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC). Two multiple regressions were completed. Results, omitting a statistical outlier within the group consisting of families with a child with ADHD, indicated that siblings of non-disabled children experienced more symptoms of depression than siblings of children with ADHD; however, results including the statistical outlier indicated that both groups of siblings experience similar symptomology of depression. Both results were contrary to the researcher's hypothesis. Given the small sample size of the current study, the individuals that participated in the study may not be a representative sample, and additional research is therefore needed. Overall, the findings of the current study will guide researchers in further investigating this most important topic, and therefore, addressing how to better support families with children with ADHD.
Dissertation completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor of Psychology degree in School Psychology at Alfred University, Alfred, NY.
Psychology, Clinical psychology, Depression, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Siblings