Relationship Quality Among Half Siblings: the Role of Childhood Co-residence
It is argued that the childhood co-residence duration is one of the most important kin detection mechanisms among siblings and thus should influence the relationship quality between them. Using data from the German Family Panel (Pairfam) sibling module, we detect whether childhood co-residence predicts relationship quality (as indicated by the contact frequency and emotional closeness) among adult half siblings. Individuals who have co-resided with their half siblings during childhood report a better relationship quality with these siblings compared to individuals who have not co-resided with half siblings. Among individuals who have co-resided for most of their childhood with half siblings, the relationship quality is better in same-sex dyads than opposite-sex dyads. Finally, no difference in relationship quality was detected between full and half siblings in cases in which they lived together during their childhood. These findings indicate that childhood co-residence tends to regulate relationship quality among adult half siblings.
KeywordsChildhood co-residence Half siblings Kin detection
The presented analyses are based on data from the German Family Panel (Pairfam), release 7.0 (Brüderl et al. 2016). A detailed description of the study can be found in Huinink et al. (2011). The German Family Panel Pairfam is coordinated by Josef Brüderl, Karsten Hank, Johannes Huinink, Bernhard Nauck, Franz Neyer, and SabineWalper. Pairfam is funded as a longterm project by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
- Antfolk, J. (2014). Incest aversion: The evolutionary roots of individual regulation. Åbo: Åbo Akademi.Google Scholar
- Antfolk, J., & Wolf, A. P. (2016). Itemising Westermarck’s hypothesis: the assumptions embedded in Westermarck’s explanation of human incest avoidance. In O. Lagerspetz, J. Antfolk, Y. Gustafsson, & C. Kronqvist (Eds.), Evolution, human behaviour and morality: the legacy of Westermarck (pp. 72–84). Routledge.Google Scholar
- Antfolk, J., Karlsson, M., Bäckström, A., & Santtila, P. (2012). Disgust elicited by third-party incest: the roles of biological relatedness, co-residence, and family relationship. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33, 217–223. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2011.09.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Brüderl, J., Hank, K., Huinink, J., Nauck, B., Neyer, F.J., Walper, S., Alt, P., Buhr, P., Castiglioni, L., Fiedrich, S., Finn, C., Hajek, K., Herzig, M., Huyer-May, B., Lenke, R., Müller, B., Peter, T., Salzburger, V., Schmiedeberg, C., Schütze, P., Schumann, N., Th€onnissen, C., Wetzel, M., & Wilhelm, B. (2016). The German Family Panel (Pairfam). GESIS data archive, cologne. ZA5678 Data file version 7.0.0. https://doi.org/10.4232/pairfam.5618.104.22.168.
- Danielsbacka, M., & Tanskanen, A. O. (2015). The association between unequal parental treatment and the sibling relationship in Finland: the difference between full and half siblings. Evolutionary Psychology, 492–510.Google Scholar
- Fessler, D. M. T., & Navarrete, C. D. (2004). Third-party attitudes toward sibling incest: evidence for Westermarck’s hypotheses. Evolution and Human Behavior, 25, 277–294. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.05.004.Google Scholar
- Huinink, J., Brüderl, J., Nauck, B., et al. (2011). Panel analysis of intimate relationships and family dynamics (pairfam): conceptual framework and design. Journal of Family Research, 23, 77–101.Google Scholar
- Krupp, D. B., DeBruine, L. M., & Jones, B. C. (2011). Cooperation and conflict in the light of kin recognition systems. In C. Salmon & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of evolutionary family psychology (pp. 345–362). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Lieberman, D., Tooby, J., & Cosmides, L. (2003). Does morality have a biological basis? An empirical test of the factors governing moral sentiments relating to incest. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Scince B, 270, 819–826.Google Scholar
- Pollet, T.V., & Hoben, A. D. (2011). An evolutionary perspective on siblings: rivals and resources. In C. Salmon and T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), The Oxford handbook on evolutionary family psychology (pp. 128–148). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Steinbach, A., & Hank, K. (2018). Full-, half-, and step-sibling relations in young and middle adulthood. Journal of Family Issues, 39. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X18757829.
- Westermarck, E. A. (1921). The history of human marriage. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar