Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 383–397 | Cite as

And What About Siblings? A Longitudinal Analysis of Sibling Effects on Youth’s Intergroup Attitudes

  • Katharina Eckstein
  • Jan Šerek
  • Peter Noack
Empirical Research


Within the process of political socialization, the family is of particular importance. Apart from parents, however, little is known about the role of other close family members. The present study examined if siblings affect each other’s intergroup attitudes (i.e., intolerance towards immigrants, social dominance orientation). Drawing on a sample of 362 sibling dyads (older siblings: M age = 17.77, 53.6% female; younger siblings: M age = 13.61, 61.3% female), the results showed that older siblings’ intergroup attitudes predicted younger siblings’ attitudes, but this effect was moderated by gender. Specifically, older siblings’ intolerance and social dominance orientation were only found to affect their younger sisters, yet not their younger brothers. Although younger siblings’ intergroup attitudes had no main effect on older siblings, a significant moderation by age indicated that younger siblings affected older siblings’ social dominance orientation with increasing age. These moderation effects of age and gender were not mediated by the quality of family relationships. The findings also remained the same when parental intergroup attitudes were taken into account. While siblings were generally identified as an important agent of political socialization in youth, the results also highlight the necessity to further examine the mechanism that either facilitate or hinder sibling effects.


Siblings Political socialization Family Youth Intergroup attitudes Intolerance 



This research was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG, FOR 481, No 213/9-4) by financial aid given to the third author. The work of the second author was supported by the Grant Agency of the Masaryk University (Grant No MUNI/M/1748/2014).

Authors' Contributions

K.E., J.S., and P.N. conceived of the study. K. E. participated in its design and coordination and drafted the manuscript. K. E. and J. S. conducted the analyses for the study. J.S. also drafted parts of the manuscript and participated in the interpretation of the data. P.N. participated in the design, data collection, and participated in the interpretation of the data. All authors read, edited, and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10964_2017_713_MOESM1_ESM.docx (72 kb)
Supplementary Information


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyFriedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Research on Children, Youth and FamilyMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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