Growing up with a functionally disabled sibling can bring joy and positive experiences, but also complications. The purpose of this paper is to describe the experience of growing up with a functionally disabled sibling. I have chosen to focus the examination on how individuals with functionally disabled siblings believe they have been affected by their relationship to their functional disabled sibling and whether it has continued to affect them in adulthood.
The examination was qualitative and conducted through interviews. The results showed that siblings of functionally disabled individuals tend to grow up with strong feelings of responsibility and anxiety that continue to affect them into adulthood. The investigation further showed that all interviewed chose occupations in care, and that they give great attention to relationships to others. I have used Maslow's hierarchy of needs as a comparison to examine whether these needs are affected by the special relationship. My conclusion is that individuals with functionally disabled siblings are affected in various ways by the special situation in their upbringing. Those interviewed for the purpose of the examination have many common experiences that can be traced to their upbringing, though there were also in some cases differences between the subjects where experiences diverged. There is nothing in the results of my examination that indicate that the needs according to Maslow would be affected in a negative way. Hardship in childhood and adolescence has given experiences that have enriched the interviewed subjects. They have retained a feeling of identity and developed through the experience of their relationship with a functionally disabled sibling.
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