Sibling Research – can you help?

Rachel Watkins headshot


Today’s feature is actually more of a research bleg, I’m generally in favour of research, and particularly sibling research and I thought this might be a good place for Rachel to find some people interested in helping out – Joe

A study in 2005 (Hodapp, Glidden and Kaiser) found the majority of research into families of children with additional needs focused either on the families as a whole unit or the child within that unit with the greatest needs. I hope to correct that by shedding light on the siblings of children with additional needs and the kind of support they receive and require.

I hope to show the importance of the great work that is being done in this area and possibly identify ways in which outcomes for these siblings could be further improved. A review of recent research finds a definite lack of research focused on looking at sibling’s as individuals and the affects of having a sibling’s with a disability or additional needs. This research I am undertaking is to help fill this gap and give siblings as a individual a voice to leading professionals.


As part of the research project I am carrying out, I am looking for siblings of children with additional needs or disabilities; parents with two or more children, of which at least one has additional needs or a disability (Some of the children may live with you some of the time) and sibling support organisations to complete separate short anonymous surveys.


As a person with a personal connection to the research topic I have great sympathy for the issues raised. I’m hoping to identify the need for support for siblings of children with additional needs and how that support could improve outcomes for siblings. I’m aware that for the families and siblings taking part, some of the questions in the survey may be considered of a sensitive nature and for this reason the participants may leave blank any questions they do not wish to answer, partly completed surveys still have value for the research. I want to ensure that participant is fully aware they can withdraw from the survey at any time if they wish. The question within the survey will be looking at the support families get and really focusing on the support if any the sibling may be getting. There will be some question relating to the impact on siblings and whether the parents are able to recognise signs.


There are two surveys I need respondents for, the links as follows.

for siblings (over 18):

for parents:

For support organisations:

The survey is entirely anonymous and in line with the recommendations within University policy for student research and the Warwick University Code of Practice for Research and has been approved by my supervisor at the University of Warwick, UK.

The finished project is to be submitted as the final part of an early education studies degree but i hope for it to have a reach further than that. I will post the research results in early July.


If you have any further question I am more than happy to answer at



Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 11.54.52


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *