Siblings are special: A practical guide for adapting a universal primary prevention program for sibling relationships

Kari Lyn K. Sakuma, Mark E. Feinberg, Susan M. McHale, Kimberly A. Updegraff, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Siblings play a critical role in each other’s development and family dynamics. Focusing on sibling relationships as a non-stigmatizing intervention point for universal primary prevention for families is a promising venture. Siblings are Special (SIBS) was designed by utilizing a theoretical model explicating four prevention pathways born out of the sibling literature, adapting parts of evidence-based social emotional programs, and operationalizing them specifically for sibling and familial dynamics. We discuss the process for developing the initial idea, implementing the first trial in central Pennsylvania, through some of the cultural adaptations for Latino families that were piloted and are now under efficacy trials in Phoenix, Arizona. We demonstrate the promise of a sibling-centered prevention intervention that enhanced positive sibling relationships but also had positive impact on maternal depression and child internalizing problems. Finally, we end with some lessons learned that will contribute to the understanding of the power of sibling relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDesigning Evidence-Based Public Health and Prevention Programs
Subtitle of host publicationExpert Program Developers Explain the Science and Art
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780429520549
ISBN (Print)9780367205140
StatePublished - Nov 29 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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