ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Genevieve Graaf


When a child has a sibling with a disability, siblings must learn to adapt to additional challenges and demands and may often be overlooked by their parents, teachers, and service providers. While research has demonstrated that the social and emotional development of siblings of children with ASD is impacted in the context of their homes and families, the impact on siblings in the school setting has been minimally examined. Using the Sibling Embedded Systems Framework, this study assesses the relationship between micro and mesosystem factors in relation to school behavioral and academic outcomes for siblings of children with ASD using 1,500 families in the Simmons Simplex Collection. As part of a partnership with the Simmons Simplex Collection (SSC), de-identified data from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) that contains demographic information (i.e., race, ethnicity, gender, health insurance, medical history), developmental and behavior information, and blood samples (DNA) from parents and their children is analyzed. Descriptive analysis and bivariate analysis assess the distribution of variables across the dataset and associations between family and child characteristics with response variables. Multivariable analysis assesses associations between child, family, and home environment characteristics and siblings’ total school problems and academic performance. The results showed that siblings of children with ASD had poorer academic performance and total problems in school when also displaying problem behaviors at home such as oppositional defiance and rule breaking. Findings from this study point to several important issues for clinicians and researchers working with families of individuals with ASD to consider.


Autism, Sibling, Sibling Embedded Systems Framework


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Social Work Commons