The study focuses on healthy children's responses to a sibling's cancer and its aftermath, with particular scrutiny directed toward these healthy siblings' stress factors, duress responses, and coping resources. The authors investigated role overload as these siblings' stress factor, anxiety and psychosomatic symptoms as their duress responses, and self-control (SC) and self-efficacy (SE) as their coping resources. Participants comprised 100 (53 boys and 47 girls) Israeli Jewish healthy siblings (ages 8 to 19 years) of a child with cancer. Outcomes revealed that the stress experienced by healthy siblings of a child with cancer correlated significantly with those siblings' duress responses: Greater role overload was linked with higher levels of state anxiety and more psychosomatic symptoms. Likewise, these siblings' stress factor correlated significantly with one of their personal resources: Greater SC was linked with lower role overload. Furthermore, personal coping resources correlated significantly with healthy siblings' duress responses: Greater SC and SE were linked with lower levels of anxiety and fewer psychosomatic symptoms. In addition, hierarchical regression analyses showed that, among children older than age 12, greater SC was linked with milder anxiety. Limitations and implications are discussed.
- Role overload
- Stress responses