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01-10-2007 | Original Paper | Uitgave 7/2007

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 7/2007

Explaining Sibling Similarities: Perceptions of Sibling Influences

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 7/2007
Auteurs:
Shawn D. Whiteman, Susan M. McHale, Ann C. Crouter
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Shawn D. Whiteman is an Assistant Professor of Child Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. He received his Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University. His major research interests include how siblings directly and indirectly act as sources of social influence and social comparison within families and how their family experiences foster similarities and differences in their relationship qualities, attributes, and adjustment.
Susan M. McHale is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her major research interests focus on children's and adolescents’ family roles, relationships and activities with a particular emphasis on gendered family dynamics and youth's sibling relationship experiences.
Ann C. Crouter is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University. Her major research interests focus on the implications of parents’ work situations for parents’ and children's health, psychological development, and family relationships.

Abstract

This study examined older siblings’ influence on their younger brothers and sisters by assessing the connections between youth's perceptions of sibling influence and sibling similarities in four domains: Risky behavior, peer competence, sports interests, and art interests. Participants included two adolescent-age siblings (firstborn age M=17.34; second-born age M=14.77) from 191 maritally intact families. Analyses revealed that second-borns’ perceptions of influence were positively linked to siblings’ reports of intimacy and temporal involvement, but not to reports of negativity. Further, sibling similarities were most evident when younger siblings reported sibling influence and when their older brothers and sisters reported high engagement, competence, or interest in a particular domain. Discussion focuses on the challenges of documenting sibling influence and the need to refine its measurement.

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