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07-08-2018 | Original Paper | Uitgave 12/2018

Journal of Child and Family Studies 12/2018

Parental criticism moderates sibling influence on proactive and reactive aggression

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 12/2018
Auteurs:
Andrew L. Frazer, Paula J. Fite, Katie J. Stone, Jayne Clinkenbeard

Abstract

Siblings’ influence on youth aggressive behavior has been found in previous studies, but further research is needed in order to better understand both the shared relations between siblings’ levels of proactive and reactive subtypes of aggression as well as the factors contributing to this relationship, such as parent behavior. The current study extended the literature by examining the influence of older siblings’ proactive and reactive aggression on younger siblings and whether these associations were influenced by levels of observed parental criticism. Participants were 50 parent–child dyads. Children in each dyad (52% female; 76% Caucasian) were between the ages of 10 and 15 (M = 11.52; SD = 1.25). Parent-reported measures of their younger and older siblings’ proactive and reactive aggression were collected. Next, parents and the younger child engaged in a conversation task which was coded for parental criticism using a modified version of the Family Interaction Task. Results demonstrated that older siblings’ reactive aggression was positively associated with younger siblings’ reactive aggression and that the strength of this influence depended on levels of parental criticism (β = 0.21; SE = 0.10; p 0.00), such that stronger sibling influence was observed at greater levels of parental criticism. No influence of older siblings’ levels of proactive aggression was evident. Findings suggest that the degree of parental criticism is particularly salient when examining the association between siblings’ aggression.

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