This volume is a comprehensive study of parentification in the family—children who fulfill the role of parents to their own parents or to their siblings, almost always at the expense of their own development. The book is divided into two sections: theory and research and contextual perspectives.
Chapter 4: Parentification of Siblings of Children with Disability or Chronic Disease
Parentification of Siblings of Children with Disability or Chronic Disease
Approximately four million American children have developmental disabilities such as mental retardation, behavior disorders, autism, physical impairments, cerebral palsy, sensory impairments, and learning disabilities (Meyen, 1995). Another 10 million children in the United States suffer from some form of chronic illness, with almost one million of these chronically ill children needing significant medical support (Andrews & Nielson, 1988; Sirvis & Caldwell, 1995). The majority of the children affected with these diseases and disabilities are living at home with their families. In supporting the various medical, educational, and psychosocial needs of these children, family members may find it necessary to renegotiate traditional roles and responsibilities of brother, ...