Adolescents' relationships to siblings and mothers: a multivariate genetic analysis.

D. A. Bussell, J. M. Neiderhiser, A. Pike, R. Plomin, S. Simmens, G. W. Howe, E. M. Hetherington, E. Carroll, D. Reiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Research has consistently demonstrated that children's behavior toward their siblings tends to resemble interactions occurring in the parent-child relationship. This study examined the relative contributions of genetic and environmental influences to the covariation between sibling relationships and mother-adolescent relationships. Reported and observed family interactions were assessed for 719 same-sex sibling pairs of varying degrees of genetic relatedness. The covariance between mother-adolescent and sibling interactions was decomposed into genetic, shared, and nonshared environmental components. The overlapping effects of shared environment on the two relationship subsystems explained most of the covariance. Smaller but significant genetic and nonshared environmental effects were also found. The consistency of these findings with family processes, such as modeling, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1248-1259
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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