Date of Award:

1-1-1990

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Brent C. Miller

Abstract

Time use, attitudes, and perceptions of 120 sib lings, aged 10 to 17, of children with and without Down syndrome were compared. Time use was compared in 10 composite and 14 focused categories. Overall, the findings evidenced marked similarities between groups in time use. Siblings of ch i ldren in both groups spent similar amounts of time x performing household duties, shopping, s leeping , eating, playing, participat ing in sports , and watching TV. The siblings of children with Down syndrome did differ from the compar i son group in their school attendance. They also spent less time in socia l activities and more time in ch ild care and working for pay . Although the presence of a child with Down syndrome had little effect on time use, age and gender were found to be important variables. The two groups did not differ significant ly in their attitudes concerning their own happiness, friendships, families, school, and expectations. The siblings of children with Down syndrome did report more frequent family activities than did the comparison si blings. Within the sample of siblings of children with Down syndrome, compar i sons were made between the siblings who were relatively older or younger than the ch ild with Down syndrome and between the sib lings of low- or high-functioning children with Down syndrome. Neither time use nor attitude comparisons showed any statistica l differences, except that older siblings provided child care and younger siblings did not. The child care issue is a major concern for researchers and families. In this study, most siblings, even most older siblings , did not report time providing child care, although a relatively few older s iblings appeared to provide child care extensively.

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