Domestic abuse sibling study (DASY): a multi-method study protocol

Ben Donagh*, Caroline Bradbury-Jones, Amelia Swift, Julie Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

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Introduction Domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is an everyday aspect of many children and young people’s lives, both in the home and in their own relationships. Studies estimate that up to one million children and young people experience some form of DVA each year in the UK. Although the majority of families experiencing DVA have more than one child, most research to date has focused on individual children within these families. This study aims to explore the views of practitioners, parent/carers and young people on sibling responses in the context and aftermath of DVA. Our protocol has followed SPIRIT guidelines.

Methods and analysis We propose a multimethod study consisting of semistructured interviews, the completion of Sibling Relationship Questionnaires, photovoice interviews and illustrative case studies to explore sibling experiences in the context and aftermath of DVA. A purposive sample of front-line practitioner participants will be recruited and interviewed first. We will ask them to introduce us to parent/carer and young people participants using a snowball approach (n=70). Qualitative data will be analysed through reflexive thematic analysis, theoretically underpinned by critical realism, to explore patterns in participants’ views and experiences of siblings in the context and aftermath of DVA. Quantitative data collected from the Sibling Relationship Questionnaire’s four domains (warmth/closeness, power/status, conflict and rivalry) will be analysed. Data triangulation of the quantitative and qualitative data within this study will occur at the results interpretation stage.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval has been obtained from the University of Birmingham Research Ethic Committee (ERN_21-0795). Findings will be published in open access peer-reviewed journals and presented at relevant conferences and events. Child-facing infographics and front-line practitioner guides will also be produced.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere065022
JournalBMJ open
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2022


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