Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 36, Issue 7, pp 963–972

Explaining Sibling Similarities: Perceptions of Sibling Influences

  • Shawn D. Whiteman
  • Susan M. McHale
  • Ann C. Crouter
Original Paper

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.

Keywords

Sibling influence Sibling similarities Social learning 

References

  1. Ansbacher HL, Ansbacher RR (1956) The individual psychology of Alfred Adler. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Ary DV, Tildesley E, Hops H, Andrews J (1993). The influence of parent, sibling, and peer modeling and attitudes on adolescent use of alcohol. Int J Addict 28:853–880PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bandura A (1977) Social learning theory. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJGoogle Scholar
  4. Bank L, Patterson G, Reid J (1996) Negative sibling interaction patterns as predictors of later adjustment problems in adolescent youth and adult males. In: Brody GH (ed) Sibling relationships: Their causes and consequences. Ablex, New York, pp 197–229Google Scholar
  5. Blyth D, Hill J, Thiel K (1982) Early adolescents’ significant others: Grade and gender differences in perceived relationships with familial and nonfamilial adults and young people. J Youth Adolesc 11:425–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brody G, Stoneman Z, McCoy JK (1992) Parental differential treatment of siblings and sibling differences in negative emotionality. J Marriage Fam 54:643–651CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carpenter C, Huston A, Spera L (1989) Children's use of time in their everyday activities during middle childhood. In: Boch MN, Pelegrini AD (eds) The ecological context of children's play. Ablex, Norwood, NJ, pp 165–190Google Scholar
  8. Cohen J (1988) Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences, 2nd edn. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJGoogle Scholar
  9. D’Amico EJ, Fromme K (1997) Health risk behaviors of adolescent and young adult siblings. Health Psychol 16:426–432PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dunn J (1998) Siblings, emotion, and development of understanding. In: Braten S (ed) Intersubjective communication and emotion in early ontogeny: Studies in emotion and social interaction. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 158–168Google Scholar
  11. Dunn J, Plomin R (1990) Separate lives: Why siblings are so different. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. East PL (1998) Impact of adolescent childbearing on families and younger siblings: Effects that increase younger siblings’ risk for early pregnancy. Appl Dev Sci 2:62–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eccles J, Barber B (1990) The risky behavior scale. University of Michigan, Unpublished manuscriptGoogle Scholar
  14. Furman W, Buhrmester D (1985) Children's perceptions of the qualities of sibling relationships. Child Dev 56:448–461PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fagan AA, Najman JM (2005) The relative contributions of parental and sibling substance use to adolescent tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use. J Drug Issues 35:869–884Google Scholar
  16. Forster J, Chen V, Blaine T, Perry C, Toomey T (2003) Social exchange of cigarettes by youth. Tob Control 12:148–154PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Harter S (1982) The perceived competence scales for children. Child Development 53:87–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Koch HL (1956) Sissiness and tomboyishness in relation to sibling characteristics. J Genet Psychol 88:231–244PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Kowal A, Kramer L (1997) Children's understanding of parental differential treatment. Child Dev 68:113–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McGue M, Sharma A, Benson P (1996) The effect of common rearing on adolescent adjustment: Evidence from a U.S. adoption cohort. Dev Psychol 32:604–613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McHale SM, Crouter AC (1996) The family contexts of children's sibling relationships. In: Brody G (ed) Sibling relationships: Their causes and consequences. Ablex, Norwood, NJ, pp 173–195Google Scholar
  22. McHale SM, Crouter AC, Bartko WT (1992) Traditional and egalitarian patterns of parental involvement: Antecedents, consequences, and temporal rhythms. In: Featherman D, Lerner R, Perlmutter M (eds) Life-span development and behavior, vol 2. Erlbaum, New York, pp 49–81Google Scholar
  23. McHale SM, Crouter AC, Tucker CJ (2001) Free-time activities in middle childhood: Links with adjustment in early adolescence. Child Dev 72:1764–1778PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McHale SM, Crouter AC, Tucker CJ (1999) Family context and gender socialization in middle childhood: Comparing girls to boys and sisters to brothers. Child Dev 70:990–1004PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McHale SM, Updegraff KA, Jackson-Newsom J, Tucker CJ, Crouter AC (2000) When does parents’ differential treatment have negative implications for siblings? Soc Dev 9:149–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Patterson GR (1984) Siblings: Fellow travelers in coercive family processes. In: Blanchard RJ (ed) Advances in the study of aggression. Academic Press, New York, pp 174–214Google Scholar
  27. Patterson GR, Dishion TJ, Bank L (1984) Family interaction: A process model of deviancy training. Aggressive Behav 10:253–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Posner JK, Vandell DL (1999) After school activities and the development of low-income children: A longitudinal study. Dev Psychol 35:868–879PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Plomin R, Daniels D (1987) Why are children in the same family so different from one another? Behav Brain Sci 10:1–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rafaelli M (1992) Sibling conflict in early adolescence. J Marriage Fam 54:652–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rende R, Slomkowski C, Lloyd-Richardson E, Niaura R (2005) Sibling effects on substance use in adolescence: Social contagion and genetic relatedness. J Fam Psychol 19:611–618PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rowe D, Gulley B (1992) Sibling effects on substance abuse and delinquency. Criminology 30:217–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Scarr S, Weinberg RA (1983) The Minnesota adoption studies: Genetic differences and malleability. Child Dev 54:260–267PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schacter FF, Gilutz G, Shore E, Adler M (1978) Sibling deidentification judged by mothers: Cross validation and developmental studies. Child Dev 49:543–546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schacter FF, Shore E, Feldman-Rotman S, Marquis RE, Campbell S (1976) Sibling Deidentification. Dev Psychol 12:418–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Slomkowski C, Rende R, Conger KJ, Simons RL, Conger RD (2001) Sisters, brothers, and delinquency: Evaluating social influence during early and middle adolescence. Child Dev 72:271–283PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Slomkowski C, Rende R, Novak S, Lloyd-Richardson E, Niaura R (2005) Sibling effects on smoking in adolescence: Evidence for social influence from a genetically informed design. Addiction 100:430–438PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Stocker CM, McHale SM (1992) Links between sibling and parent-child relationships in early adolescence. J Pers Soc Relationships 9:175–195Google Scholar
  39. Sutton-Smith B, Rosenberg BG (1970) The sibling. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  40. Trim RS, Leuthe E, Chassin L (2006) Sibling influence on alcohol use in a young adult, high-risk sample. J Stud Alcohol 67:391–398PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Tucker CJ, Barber BL, Eccles J (1997) Advice about life plans and personal problems in late adolescent sibling relationships. J Youth and Adolesc 26:63–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Windle M (2000) Parental, sibling, and peer influences on adolescent substance use and alcohol problems. Appl Dev Sci 4:98–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shawn D. Whiteman
    • 1
  • Susan M. McHale
    • 2
  • Ann C. Crouter
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Child Development and Family StudiesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteIndiana
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityPennsylvaniaUSA

Personalised recommendations