Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Brent C. Miller


Brent C. Miller


Brent Miller


Steve Barnett


Don Sisson


Shelley Lindauer


Jay Schvaneveldt


Gerald Adams


Time use, attitudes, and perceptions of 120 siblings, 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 children in both groups spent similar amounts of time x performing household duties, shopping, sleeping, eating, playing, participating in sports, and watching TV. The siblings of children with Down syndrome did differ from the comparison group in their school attendance. They also spent less time in social activities and more time in child 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 significantly 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 siblings. Within the sample of siblings of children with Down syndrome, comparisons were made between the siblings who were relatively older or younger than the ch ild with Down syndrome and between the siblings of low- or high-functioning children with Down syndrome. Neither time use nor attitude comparisons showed any statistical 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 siblings appeared to provide child care extensively.