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Comparative life experiences: Young adult siblings with and without disabilities’ different understandings of their respective life experiences during young adulthood

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Research shows that siblings of people with disabilities have experiences during young adulthood – such as driving, socialising independently and moving out of home – that they often believe their brothers and sisters with disabilities will not have or will find harder to reach, and that they feel very aware of this comparative difference between them. Less research has, however, explored what siblings with disabilities think of this comparison. This represents a significant gap in the literature. Using accounts from 25 young adult siblings with disabilities and 21 without disabilities, this article compares how both view the comparison of their life experiences during young adulthood, revealing that siblings with disabilities have a more complex, nuanced and multi-faceted range of views about the comparison than their brothers and sisters without disabilities. The findings are discussed in light of the benefits of extending understandings of siblings with disabilities’ views, including the benefits for family relations.
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Keywords: disability ; family relations; life experiences; siblings; young adulthood

Affiliations: University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Appeared or available online: 02 August 2017

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UA-1313315-21
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