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The Siblings Research Group

March 7, 2018


Researchers from UCL and the University of Warwick work with siblings to help shape research at the first ever Sibling Research Advisory Group. 


The Sibling Research Advisory Group (SRAG) is a collaborative multidisciplinary initiative organised by Mhairi McKenzie (UCL Institute of Child Heath, Population Policy & Practice), Georgia Pavlopoulou (UCL Institute of Education, Department of Psychology and Human Development LiLAS Lab) and Nikita Hayden (University of Warwick, Centre for Educational Development Appraisal and Research). Mhairi, Georgia and Nikita are currently PhD candidates looking at the wellbeing, relationships and experiences of siblings of children with a range of chronic health conditions or disabilities such as: cystic fibrosis and neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism, Down syndrome, and Williams syndrome. 

The SRAG aims to inform and shape our research as well as other initiatives that involve young siblings. The siblings involved in the research group are viewed as experts of their own experience. By involving the public and engaging in research "with" siblings, rather than doing research "on" or "about" siblings, we hope our research will be more relevant and applicable. 

The first SRAG meeting took place on Saturday 10th February at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. Ten siblings aged from 11 to 18 years old came along on the day. Siblings were introduced to the team, the purpose of the group, and the plan for the afternoon. Then they participated in an interactive training session on research terminology (including terms such as quantitative, qualitative, ethics and data). During the break they had time to socialise with each other and share as much or as little they wanted about themselves and enjoy snacks. After the break, each of the researchers asked for the input of the young people into their own research projects. 

Mhari invited the siblings to consider which factors they believed to be impo