The Psychological Impact of Living in a Family with an Autistic Sibling
Date, Time & Place:
February 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm
Lecture Hall, Lambert Road campus
This qualitative study illuminates the lived experience of five adult siblings growing up in a family with a sibling or siblings diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The participants completed two semistructured interviews designed to elicit a narrative about their perceptions regarding their relationships within their family constellation with an emphasis on the relationship with their siblings diagnosed with ASD. Data was analyzed by virtue of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) and further conceptualized through a psychodynamic lens. Five master themes were identified regarding participants’ experience while growing up with their sibling(s) diagnosed with autism: responsibility, ambivalence, anxiety, limitations, and support. Subthemes included family legacy, maturation, compliance, guilt and phantasy, memory, stress, birth order, family outings, separations, and having needs. Findings indicated the imperative of offering or requiring early intervention with individual psychotherapy in addition to sibling support groups for child with a sibling diagnosed with autism. For adult siblings, long-term psychodynamic treatment is recommended to examine repressed and foreclosed states of mind and to provide an understanding of complexities associated with birth order, the false self, and internal splitting. The study emphasizes the importance of informed mental health care professionals who can enhance treatment methods when considering this population’s unique family situation.
ALL ORAL DEFENSE ATTENDEES MUST SHUTTLE FROM THE BEST WESTERN HOTEL IN CARPINTERIA
This is due to Pacifica’s conditional use permit, which restricts campus parking. Please call 896-1887 or 896-1888 for a shuttle pickup from the Best Western. A Pacifica shuttle driver will pick you up within 10 minutes or so and take you to the campus.
Thank you for your kind consideration
- Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology, Track B, 2010
- Chair: Dr. Karen Shipley
- Reader: Dr. Christine Lewis
- External Reader: Dr. Beth Kalish