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Title: The use of a repertory grid technique with siblings of autistic children : how they see themselves, their siblings and their peers
Author: Gibson, Justine C. M.
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 1996
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Using a repertory grid technique, 15 siblings of autistic children were asked to describe themselves, their siblings and their peers. Siblings of Downs Syndrome (N=15) and nondisabled (N=15) children were also interviewed to control for the effects of having a 'disabled' sibling and to examine the types of constructs generated in relation to normal sibling and peer relationships. The children's ages ranged from 8 to 19 years. A large number of constructs were generated using the dyadic sort method, and these were subject to a preliminary content analysis. The children's generated constructs were also analysed using the GRAN computer program. A number of supplied constructs were included at the end of each child's grid to facilitate comparisons between the element ratings made by siblings in each of the three groups. Following the grid administration, a short semi-structured interview was conducted to explore the nature of the relationship with the target sibling in more detail. The findings of these multiple data sources were then compared using the process of triangulation. The results suggest that whilst children with autistic and Downs Syndrome siblings both use characteristics relating to their target sibling's 'disability'to distinguish them from the other children being rated, the autistic child is discriminated further on the basis of constructs pertaining to their low levels and impaired style of social interaction. The potential consequences for the social and emotional development of the nonautistic child are considered and suggestions for clinical interventions with this client group are presented. Methodological considerations suggest that by allowing children to respond freely, using their own language and construct systems, valuable insight can be gained concerning the unique and shared experiences of these children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available