Impact on the Family: Psychosocial Adjustment of Siblings of Children Who Survive Serious Burns

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

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 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 gender-matched 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)110-118
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 2003

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • General Nursing
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Rehabilitation
    • General Health Professions


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