This chapter looks at children living in families experiencing difficulties and requiring family support. It will consider the circumstances of children in four different situations which may categorise them as being in need: (1)children of substance-abusing families(2)children of mentally ill parents(3)children with disabilities, and(4)children living with domestic violence. For each of these the emphasis will be, where there is material available, on what is known about the impact of the adverse circumstances on sibling relationships. In fact, of these four groups, the only one that has a substantial literature attached to it is children with disabilities, where the impact of a child’s disability on the child’s non-disabled siblings has been extensively reported. In such situations, there are known to be positive impacts as well as negative ones.
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