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Type: Journal article
Title: A dimensional approach to the mental health of siblings of children with mental health problems: a 20-year systematic review
Author: Ma, N.
Roberts, R.
Winefield, H.
Furber, G.
Citation: Journal of Family Studies, 2020; 26(2):308-328
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1322-9400
Statement of
Nylanda Ma, Rachel Roberts, Helen Winefield and Gareth Furber
Abstract: A previous review on the prevalence of psychopathology in siblings of children with mental health problems (MHPs) suggested that these siblings are at increased risk of a broad range of psychopathologies. No disorder-specific risk could be identified. It may be that a different approach to understanding mental health is needed. The following paper aimed to explore if using a dimensional approach could provide greater clarity and insight into the mental health of these siblings by conducting a similar systematic review using dimensional data on the psychosocial functioning of siblings of children with MHPs. An electronic search of publications from 1990 to 2011 identified 29 articles. The findings show that while mean sibling scores on internalising problems, externalising problems, social problems were in the normal range compared to standardised norms, siblings of children with MHPs scored poorer than control children and a greater proportion of siblings scored in the borderline/clinical range compared to children in the general population. Particular areas of functional impairments identified were delinquent behaviour, somatic complaints, anxious/depressed behaviour, and social problems. Effect sizes were moderate to large. Findings on symptom scores with categorical underpinnings were inconsistent. Implications for the debate between dimensional and categorical approaches are discussed and guidelines for future research are outlined. Implications for clinical treatment for siblings are highlighted.
Keywords: Sibling; child; mental health; psychosocial functioning; systematic review; dimensional
Rights: © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
DOI: 10.1080/13229400.2017.1375966
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