Irmãos de crianças autistas: problemas de comportamento, competência social e relacionamentos intra e extra familiares.
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Considering the effects that living with autistic children can have on a family, most authors have investigated the familiar adjustment through a focus in the mothers. Relatively few studies have evaluated the adjustment siblings of the autistic child. And these studies, however, have reported conflicting results. While some authors report that those siblings are well adjusted other studies find that having an autistic sibling can have negative effects on a child. The contrast is attributed to methodological problems and the need for further investigation. The main purpose of the present study is to investigate behavioral problems and social competence in siblings of children with autism and to evaluate their perception of familiar and social relationships. Eight brothers were selected to participate in the study. Four having an autistic sybling, and four having a normal sybling. Instruments included two questionnaires witch evaluated social competence and behavioral problems (CBCL and YSR) and a semi-structured interview. Results indicated that siblings of children with autism present more behavioral problems and scores of social competence lower than those presented by control group; this tendency is stronger in the younger siblings. The siblings reported higher levels of responsibility when compared to the control group and have difficulties for dealing with the brother s disease.