Advances in medical technology now permit children who need ventilator assistance to live at home rather than in hospitals or institutions. What does this ventilator-dependent life mean to children and their families? The impetus for this essay comes from a study of the moral experience of 12 Canadian families--parents, ventilator-dependent child, and well siblings. These families express great love for their children, take on enormous responsibilities for care, live with uncertainty, and attempt to create "normal" home environments. Nevertheless, they experience social isolation, sometimes even from their extended families and health care providers. Their lives are constrained in many ways. The challenges faced by parents of technology-dependent children raise questions of justice within society and within families.
Sibling supervision has been shown to increase the risk of supervisee's unintentional injury in the home. Both poorer supervision by the older sibling and noncompliance by the younger sibling have been shown to contribute to this risk. Previous studies have shown that informing older siblings that they are responsible for the behavior of their younger sibling improves their supervision. The present study, conducted in Canada, examined whether informing both children the older child is in charge would improve both older sibling supervisory practices and compliance by the younger child. Younger and older siblings were initially placed in a room containing contrived hazards, and their interactions were unobtrusively recorded. In a second contrived hazards room, both children were then informed that the older sibling was in charge, and the supervisor was privately told not to let the supervisee touch hazardous objects. Results revealed that sibling supervisors showed improved supervision but supervisee behavior did not vary across conditions. Implications for injury prevention and future research directions are discussed.
Children born to older fathers are at higher risk to develop severe psychopathology (e.g., schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), possibly because of increased de novo mutations during spermatogenesis with older paternal age. Because severe psychopathology is correlated with antisocial behavior, we examined possible associations between advancing paternal age and offspring violent offending. Interlinked Swedish national registers provided information on fathers' age at childbirth and violent criminal convictions in all offspring born from 1958 to 1979 (N = 2,359,921). We used ever committing a violent crime and number of violent crimes as indices of violent offending. The data included information on multiple levels; we compared differentially exposed siblings in within-family analyses to rigorously test causal influences. In the entire population, advancing paternal age predicted offspring violent crime according to both indices. Congruent with a causal effect, this association remained for rates of violent crime in within-family analyses. However, in within-family analyses, we found no association with ever committing a violent crime, suggesting that factors shared by siblings (genes and environment) confounded this association. Life-course persistent criminality has been proposed to have a partly biological etiology; our results agree with a stronger biological effect (i.e., de novo mutations) on persistent violent offending.
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Advanced paternal age has been suggested as a risk factor for autism, but empirical evidence is mixed. This study examines whether the association between paternal age and autism in the offspring (1) persists controlling for documented autism risk factors, including family psychiatric history, perinatal conditions, infant characteristics and demographic variables; (2) may be explained by familial traits associated with the autism phenotype, or confounding by parity; and (3) is consistent across epidemiological studies. Multiple study methods were adopted. First, a Swedish 10-year birth cohort (N=1?075?588) was established. Linkage to the National Patient Register ascertained all autism cases (N=883). Second, 660 families identified within the birth cohort had siblings discordant for autism. Finally, meta-analysis included population-based epidemiological studies. In the birth cohort, autism risk increased monotonically with increasing paternal age. Offspring of men aged =50 years were 2.2 times (95% confidence interval: 1.26-3.88: P=0.006) more likely to have autism than offspring of men aged =29 years, after controlling for maternal age and documented risk factors for autism. Within-family analysis of discordant siblings showed that affected siblings had older paternal age, adjusting for maternal age and parity (P
To arrive at an understanding of the lived experience of healthy donor and nondonor siblings as they transition through the bone marrow transplantation (BMT) trajectory.
Qualitative study guided by the philosophy of hermeneutic phenomenology.
Participants' homes or the investigator's university or hospital office.
Eight siblings of pediatric BMT recipients were recruited based on their knowledge of the experience of transitioning through the BMT trajectory.
Data were collected by semistructured, open-ended interviews; demographic forms; and field notes during a period of six months. Data analysis occurred concurrently with data collection. Thematic statements were isolated using Van Manen's selective highlighting approach. Interviews were reviewed repeatedly for significant statements.
Siblings' lived experience of the BMT trajectory.
Interruption in family life emerged as the essence of siblings' lived experience. Four themes supported this essence: life goes on, feeling more or less a part of a family, faith in God that things will be okay, and feelings around families.
Hermeneutic phenomenologic research increases understanding of what being a sibling of a pediatric BMT recipient means. This study is one of the few that have afforded siblings the opportunity to speak about what is important to them.
Findings from this study provide insight into how siblings live and cope throughout the BMT trajectory and will guide nurses as they seek to provide more sensitive and comprehensive care.
Although cannabis abuse (CA) is known to be associated with schizophrenia, the causal nature of this association is unclear, with prodromal effects complicating its interpretation.
From Swedish national registry databases, we used a co-relative case-control design with full-sibling, half-sibling and first-cousin comparisons, alongside a general Swedish population sample. Using ICD codes, 5456 individuals with an initial diagnosis of schizophrenia (2000-2010) were matched with five schizophrenia-free controls. We further identified first-cousin, half-sibling and full-sibling pairs discordant for CA and statistically extrapolated results for discordant monozygotic (MZ) twins.
Within the general Swedish population, CA was strongly associated with later schizophrenia [odds ratio (OR) 10.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) 8.99-12.11]. This association was substantially attenuated both by increasing temporal delays between CA exposure and schizophrenia diagnosis and by controlling for increasing degrees of familial confounding. Extrapolated discordant MZ pairs suggested that fully controlling for confounding familial factors reduced the association between CA and later schizophrenia to more modest levels (ORs of approximately 3.3 and 1.6 with 3- and 7-year temporal delays respectively). Opiate, sedative, cocaine/stimulant and hallucinogen abuse were also strongly associated with subsequent schizophrenia in the general population. After controlling for familial confounding, only cocaine/stimulant exposure remained associated.
CA has an appreciable causal impact on future risk for schizophrenia. However, population-based estimates of cannabis-schizophrenia co-morbidity substantially overestimate their causal association. Predictions of the cases of schizophrenia that might be prevented by reduced cannabis consumption based on population associations are therefore likely to be considerably overestimated.
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Studies have shown that unequal parental treatment is associated with relationship quality between siblings. However, it is unclear how it affects the relationship between full and half-siblings. Using data from the Generational Transmissions in Finland project (n = 1,537 younger adults), we study whether those who have half-siblings perceive more unequal parental treatment than those who have full siblings only. In addition, we study how unequal parental treatment is associated with sibling relationship between full, maternal, and paternal half-siblings. First, we found that individuals who have maternal and/or paternal half-siblings are more likely to have encountered unequal maternal treatment than individuals who have full siblings only. Second, we found that unequal parental treatment impairs full as well as maternal and paternal half-sibling relations in adulthood. Third, unequal parental treatment mediates the effect of genetic relatedness on sibling relations in the case of maternal half-siblings, but not in the case of paternal half-siblings. After controlling for unequal parental treatment, the quality of maternal half-sibling relationships did not differ from that of full siblings, whereas the quality of paternal half-sibling relationships still did. Fourth, the qualitative comments (n = 206) from the same population reveal that unequal parental treatment presents itself several ways, such as differential financial, emotional, or practical support.
Clinical and population-based studies report increased prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in individuals with anorexia nervosa and in their relatives. No nationwide study has yet been published on co-occurrence of these disorders.
To investigate comorbidity of ASD in individuals with anorexia nervosa, and aggregation of ASD and anorexia nervosa in their relatives.
In Danish registers we identified all individuals born in 1981-2008, their parents, and full and half siblings, and linked them to data on hospital admissions for psychiatric disorders.
Risk of comorbidity of ASD in probands with anorexia nervosa and aggregation of ASD in families of anorexia nervosa probands were increased. However, the risk of comorbid and familial ASD did not differ significantly from comorbid and familial major depression or any psychiatric disorder in anorexia nervosa probands.
We confirm aggregation of ASD in probands with anorexia nervosa and in their relatives; however, the relationship between anorexia nervosa and ASD appears to be non-specific.
Potential adverse effects of prenatal antidepressant exposure on child development are still debated. The possibility that associations are due to genetic or familial environmental risk factors rather than antidepressant use per se cannot easily be ruled out in conventional studies. Our objective was therefore to evaluate the association between prenatal antidepressant exposure and behavioural problems in a sibling controlled study.
This study used data on 20?180 siblings identified from the population-based Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study recruited between 1999 and 2008. The mothers were asked to report antidepressant use at gestational weeks 17 and 30 and 6 months post-partum. Child Behavioral Checklist syndrome scales were used to assess externalizing and internalizing behavioural problems by questionnaires sent to mothers at 18 and 36 months postpartum. We performed unmatched and matched sibling analyses using both random- and fixed-effects linear models, respectively, to determine potential behavioural effects of antidepressant exposure.
Prenatal exposure to antidepressants was associated with increased levels of anxiety symptoms in 3 year old children after adjusting for maternal familial effects and confounding by indication (i.e. maternal depression). Effect of prenatal exposure to antidepressants was specific to anxiety, and not associated with emotional reactivity, somatic complaints, sleep problems, attention problems or aggression.
Using a sibling design, we showed that prenatal antidepressant use was specifically associated with increased anxiety symptoms after adjusting for maternal familial factors and confounding by indication.
There is a lack of knowledge about sibling stem cell donors' experiences pre-donation and the waiting period before the donation might have been long. The donors and their corresponding sibling recipients were simultaneously included in two different interview studies. The results from the recipient study have been presented in a separate paper.
The aim was to explore the experiences of being a stem cell donor for a sibling, prior to donation.
Ten adult sibling donors were interviewed prior to stem cell donation. The interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and subjected to qualitative content analysis.
The main theme Being a cog in a big wheel describes the complex process of being a sibling donor prior to donation, covering a mixture of emotions and thoughts. The four subthemes Being available, Being anxious, Being concerned and Being obliged cover the various experiences. The sibling donors' experiences are influenced by the quality of the relationship with the sick sibling.
Sibling stem cell donors go through a complex process once they have accidentally got involved in. They have been asked to become a donor; it was not a voluntary choice. In caring for sibling stem cell donors the nurses should be aware of the complexity of the process they experience and take into consideration their personal situation and needs. Providing optimal care for both sibling donors and their corresponding recipients is a challenge, and further improvement and exploration are needed.