The Early Adulthood Experience of Having a Sibling with a Developmental Disability

Jennings, Carole Frances (2017) The Early Adulthood Experience of Having a Sibling with a Developmental Disability. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Robin Wilkerson from Nursing, University of Mississippi Medical Center.


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This qualitative study explored the early adult’s experience of having a sibling with a developmental disability and influences on the experience. The phenomenological method was used, specifically the approach of hermeneutic phenomenology as discussed by van Manen. The phenomenological investigation included the collection of data from the experiential descriptions of the participants gathered during interviews. Based on reflection on the data, essential themes of the experience and influences on the experience were identified. To describe the situational context of the participant, demographic data were collected. Five essential themes of the early adulthood experience of having a sibling with a developmental disability were identified. There were lessons to be learned from their siblings. Knowledge of the experience of the early adults offered something for others to learn. The experience included contemplations on the future including: financial responsibility for, managing the care of, and living arrangements for their siblings with a developmental disability, and future children. The early adults in this study were pragmatic. The early adults in this study had intimate relationships with their siblings. Protectiveness was expressed by the early adults, which included advocating for their sibling and concern for their sibling. Two influences were common among all early adults in the study. The early adult’s perception of their sibling and their situation as normal to them while growing up influenced their experience. Another influence was the parents of the early adult. This included their parents’ mindset on, actions towards, and approach to the situation.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Jennings, Carole Frances
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. Liberal Studies
Thesis Advisor: Robin Wilkerson
Thesis Advisor's Department: Nursing
Institution: University of Mississippi Medical Center
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Carole Frances Jennings
Date Deposited: 10 May 2017 19:35
Last Modified: 10 May 2017 19:35

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