Keywords: Brotherhood in Families of Patients with Disability; Psychopathology in Siblings; Parenthood in Families of Children with Disability; Childhood and Adolescence; Qualitative Content Text Analysis; Clinical Semi-Structured Interview.
The study aims to investigate the peculiar and possibly problematic aspects of fraternal experience in families of children with neuro-psychomotor disability. Siblings of patients with disabilities, referred to a Childhood Neuro-Rehabilitation Service, have been compared with siblings of children without disorders, concerning their competencies and psychopathological symptoms, as reported by parents and teachers. In addition, the 54 parents of patients with disabilities participated in a clinical interview aimed at investigating their inner experiences and the possible relationships of the latter with emotional-relational difficulties in the siblings. Emotional relational difficulties appeared indeed more marked in the siblings of children with disabilities compared to siblings of children without disorders. Among the therapeutic implications, an open communication concerning the disability can be the basis for a more spontaneous fraternal relationships and a more adaptive development.