Impact on the family: Psychosocial adjustment of siblings of children who survive serious burns

Marion E. Doctor, Melodee G. Mancuso, Sheryl Bishop, Patricia Blakeney, Rhonda Robert, John Gaa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


This study examined the psychosocial adjustment of 79 siblings of children suffering from burn injuries. Nonparametric statistics were used to compare psychosocial adjustment of the study group, as measured by the Child Behavior Checklist with an age-matched and gendermatched reference groups. Analyses found that the study group was better adjusted than the normative group on psychological dimensions; however, the study group faired worse than the normative group on overall competence, particularly social competence. Further analyses found significant differences in sibling adjustment as a function of the severity of the burn injury. The siblings of children with moderate burn injuries did significantly better on psychological adjustment than the normative group, and siblings of children with moderate and severe burn injuries did significantly poorer on social competence. Descriptive analysis of measures developed for the study for parent and sibling reports supported findings of the Child Behavior Checklist quantitative analysis and offered insight into reasons for findings. Results indicate that the burn injury to one child in a family significantly impacts the siblings of that child. The noninjured child may be strengthened in the process of adapting to the changes imposed on the family, but it is also possible that the sibling's growth in one dimension is at the cost of success in another dimension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Emergency Medicine

Cite this