The Nature and Family Correlates of Preadolescents Perceptions of their Sibling Relationships

Clare M. Stocker, Susan M. Mchale

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151 Scopus citations


Preadolescents perceptions of their sibling relationships and links between sibling and parent-child relationships were examined in 103 families. In home interviews, mothers, fathers and both first- and second-born children rated their family relationships, and, in a series of seven daily telephone interviews, first-borns reported on how much time they spent in dyadic activities with each parent. Both first-borns and second-borns behavior toward their siblings was characterized by three dimensions: affection, rivalry and hostility. No mean differences emerged between first- and second-borns ratings of their own behavior in their sibling relationships. Siblings ratings of affection were positively correlated, but their ratings of rivalry and hostility were unrelated. Children whose relationships with fathers were characterized by high levels of warmth reported exhibiting less hostility and rivalry and more affection toward their siblings. Maternal warmth was negatively related to sibling rivalry and hostility. Children who spent more time in dyadic activities with their fathers and perceived more warmth in the father-child relationship had the most positive and least negative sibling relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-195
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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