Siblings of adults with intellectual disabilities in Chinese societies: A scoping review

Kangwei Xun, Christine Bigby, Tal Araten-Bergman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Adult siblings without disabilities play important roles in relation to their brothers and sisters with intellectual disabilities. This study reviewed knowledge about adult sibling relationships in Chinese societies, where one sibling has intellectual disability. Five English and two Chinese databases were searched for publications published up to 2022. Findings, based on 14 identified articles show that sibling relationships are considered in the context of parent-child relationships. Little attention is given to the nature of sibling relationships per se. Rather, research in Chinese societies generally frames sibling relationships as one-way caregiving, and where siblings’ caregiving responsibilities are inherited from parents, increase as parents age and are organised according to gender and birth order. These findings contrast to Western studies where increasingly perspectives of adults with intellectual disabilities are sought and the reciprocal nature of sibling relationships is highlighted. Future research in Chinese societies may benefit from exploring aspects of relationships beyond caregiving.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Chinese
  • Sibling
  • adults with intellectual disabilities
  • brother
  • sister

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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