The impact of siblings with disabilities on their brothers and sisters pursuing a career in special education

Susan U Marks, Amy Matson, Lori Barraza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


It is well known that growing up with a sibling who has a disability has both positive and negative impacts on the non-disabled sibling (Beckman, 2002; Fisman, Wolf, Ellison, & Freeman, 2000; Gans, 1997; McHugh, 2003). In fact, the concern for ameliorating the potential negative impacts on nondisabled siblings has been a major impetus for the development of sibling support groups and agencies serving families of children with disabilities for a number of years (Gallagher et al., 2000; Powell & Gallagher, 1993). This article reports on a project in which we explored this sibling experience from the perspective of those who chose to enter the field of special education. The current study involved interviews with 7 individuals who have chosen special education as a career in order to understand what may have contributed to this decision as well as how their experiences growing up with a brother or sister who has a disability influenced their work and their views of special education. copyright 2005 by TASH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-218
Number of pages14
JournalResearch and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005



  • Qualitative research
  • Siblings
  • Teacher education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Professions(all)

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