Event Title

Similarities and Differences in Mother, Father, and Sibling Relationships

Poster Number

46

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom

Start Date

24-4-2015 3:20 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 4:50 PM

Description

Siblings hold a unique relationship in that it is unchosen, long-lasting, and often characterized by a strong mix of polarizing emotions that set the stage for future social interactions outside of the family (Shalash, Wood, & Parker, 2013; Solmeyer, McHale, & Crouter, 2013). Similarly, parents’ relationships with their offspring affect future social interactions (Jensen, Whiteman, Fingerman, & Birditt, 2013). The current study examined whether the status of children’s relationships with their parents has an effect on their relationships specifically with their siblings. Eighty-eight young adults responded to questions that assessed the quality of their maternal, paternal, and sibling relationships using established scales (Fischer, & Cocoran, 2007; Furman, & Buhrmester, 2009; Stocker, Lanthier, & Furman, 1997). In general, our hypothesis was supported. We found that the better the relationships young adults had with their parents, the better relationships they had with their siblings and the more positively they viewed their family relationships overall. Young adults’ relationships with their mothers emerged as an even more powerful predictor than father relationships. Ironically, the more young adults’ perceived parents favoring them over siblings, the better relationships they reported with those parents. We also found that getting along with siblings was related to treating parents better. Taken together, these findings suggest that healthy relationships among family members benefit not only those members but other family members, as well. Parents play an important role in their children’s relationships with each other, a fact that may contribute to understanding family dynamics and improving sibling relationships.

Comments

Presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, March 2015

Winner, Psi Chi Regional Research Award, SEPA, March 2015

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Apr 24th, 3:20 PM Apr 24th, 4:50 PM

Similarities and Differences in Mother, Father, and Sibling Relationships

Richardson Ballroom

Siblings hold a unique relationship in that it is unchosen, long-lasting, and often characterized by a strong mix of polarizing emotions that set the stage for future social interactions outside of the family (Shalash, Wood, & Parker, 2013; Solmeyer, McHale, & Crouter, 2013). Similarly, parents’ relationships with their offspring affect future social interactions (Jensen, Whiteman, Fingerman, & Birditt, 2013). The current study examined whether the status of children’s relationships with their parents has an effect on their relationships specifically with their siblings. Eighty-eight young adults responded to questions that assessed the quality of their maternal, paternal, and sibling relationships using established scales (Fischer, & Cocoran, 2007; Furman, & Buhrmester, 2009; Stocker, Lanthier, & Furman, 1997). In general, our hypothesis was supported. We found that the better the relationships young adults had with their parents, the better relationships they had with their siblings and the more positively they viewed their family relationships overall. Young adults’ relationships with their mothers emerged as an even more powerful predictor than father relationships. Ironically, the more young adults’ perceived parents favoring them over siblings, the better relationships they reported with those parents. We also found that getting along with siblings was related to treating parents better. Taken together, these findings suggest that healthy relationships among family members benefit not only those members but other family members, as well. Parents play an important role in their children’s relationships with each other, a fact that may contribute to understanding family dynamics and improving sibling relationships.