Social Justice Research

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 155–182 | Cite as

Effects of Parental Differential Treatment on Relationship Quality with Siblings and Parents: Justice Evaluations as Mediators



Based on equity theory, the present study analyzes to what extent justice evaluations mediate the effects of perceived parental differential treatment (PDT) on relationship quality with siblings and parents as experienced in middle adulthood. Middle-aged adult offspring (N = 709) rated how often they and a sibling received parental recognition, nurturance, and demands for assuming filial responsibility. In addition, they indicated their justice evaluations of PDT and completed measures of relationship quality to sibling and parents. Justice evaluations emerged as either partial or complete mediators between PDT and relationship quality. Moreover, justice evaluations turned out to be more powerful predictors of relationship quality to parents than PDT per se. Implications are discussed concerning factors contributing to justice evaluations and the role of PDT within the context of other justice issues in families.


parent–child relations justice sibling relations adult offspring middle aged 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Boll
    • 1
    • 3
  • Dieter Ferring
    • 2
  • Sigrun-Heide Filipp
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TrierTrierGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of LuxembourgLuxembourg City
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TrierTrierGermany

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