Sibling Conflict during COVID-19 in Families with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

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Young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SENDs) and their families have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this longitudinal study, sibling conflict in these families during and after the first lockdown in the United Kingdom was investigated. Online questionnaires were completed by 504 parents of young people with SENDs at four-time points between 23rd March 2020 and 10th October 2020 (over half completed the questionnaire at multiple time points). As lockdown progressed, young people with SENDs were more likely to be picked on or hurt by their siblings compared to earlier stages of the lockdown but there was no change in how frequently they harmed or picked on their siblings. After lockdown, both perpetration and victimisation decreased but not to the same rates as the first month of lockdown. Young people with SENDs with severe or complex needs were somewhat protected from sibling conflict. Findings are discussed with reference to implications for support and planning for future pandemics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319
Number of pages339
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
Early online date23 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2022

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