Changes in sibling intimacy and conflict were charted from middle childhood through adolescence, and family structure and relationship correlates of change were examined. Participants were mothers, fathers, and firstborn (M = 11.82 years at Time 1) and secondborn (M = 9.22 years) siblings from 200 White, working/middle class, 2-parent families. Sibling intimacy was highest for sisters, stable over time for same-sex dyads, and showed a U-shaped change pattern in mixed-sex dyads. Sibling conflict declined after early adolescence at the same time (but at different ages) for firstborn and secondborns. Maternal acceptance covaried positively with sibling intimacy, and father - child conflict covaried positively with sibling conflict over time; fathers' marital love was linked to sibling intimacy in a pattern suggestive of compensation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology