Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access



Second Department


First Advisor

Jennifer Malatras

Second Advisor

Ilene Kaplan




Psychology, Sociology, Disabilities, Families, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Intellectual disorders, Communication Disorders, Language Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, Specific Learning Disorders, Motor Disorders, Tic Disorders


It is estimated that 1 in 10 children, almost 240 million children, live with disabilities around the world (UNICEF Division of Global Communication and Advocacy, 2022). The purpose of this study is to explore the relationships between disability stigma, parental stress, and anxiety levels of the neurotypical siblings of children with disabilities and the community response to these issues. Participants in this study included parents of families characterized by at least one child with a neurodevelopmental disability and one neurotypical child. Parents completed the Parental Stress Scale (Berry & Jones, 1995), the Spence Children′s Anxiety Scale (Spence, 1997) regarding their neurotypical child, and the PROMIS Pediatric Stigma - Short Form 8a (The National Institutes of Health, 2022) regarding their child with a neurodevelopmental disability. In addition, information on policies dealing with families with disabilities as well as available federal and community programs were collected and an interview was conducted with a director of community support. Results suggest a positive correlation between parental stress and neurotypical child anxiety, whereby greater parental stress was associated with increased anxiety in the neurotypical siblings of children with a disability. In addition, findings also suggest that programs not only benefit the individual with a disability but are beneficial to the whole family. Addressing parental stress and its impacts on all family members may be a key factor to consider in designing and funding interventions.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.