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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(9), 910; doi:10.3390/ijerph13090910

Siblings’ Perceptions of Their ADHD-Diagnosed Sibling’s Impact on the Family System

Department of Psychology, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, WITS, Gauteng 2050, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 3 June 2016 / Revised: 5 September 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 13 September 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [263 KB, uploaded 13 September 2016]


This qualitative study explored siblings’ perceptions of the impact a sibling diagnosed with ADHD has within the family system. Specific focus was placed on the different ways these different sibling cohorts were parented. Participants constituted eight adult females with a mean age of 20 years from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds in the province of Gauteng, South Africa. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and was analysed thematically. The four themes that emerged from the interviews include differential parental treatment, rejection, discrepancy with discipline, and the parentified child. Specifically, the results of this study revealed feelings of differential parental treatment and discipline that took place in the home and rejection experienced by the non-ADHD sibling. There was also a common theme of a parentified child, who had to carry a burden of caring for their sibling with ADHD. The non-diagnosed siblings perceive themselves to be particularly negatively impacted. The results are discussed in light of the previous empirical studies, and recommendations are made. View Full-Text
Keywords: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); sibling’s perceptions; parenting differences Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); sibling’s perceptions; parenting differences
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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King, K.; Alexander, D.; Seabi, J. Siblings’ Perceptions of Their ADHD-Diagnosed Sibling’s Impact on the Family System. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 910.

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