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Differences in mothers' and fathers' relationships with siblings: Links with children's behavior problems

  • Clare M. Stocker (a1)


Differences in mothers' and fathers' relationships with siblings and children's behavior problems were studied in a sample of 63 8-year-olds and their families. Mothers and fathers independently provided information about their relationships with siblings, and mothers rated children's adjustment and temperament. Children whose relationships with mothers and fathers were more conflictual and less close than their siblings' relationships had more emotional temperaments and more behavior problems than did other children in the sample. Mothers' and fathers' differential relationships with children were examined in combination. Children had the fewest behavior problems if both parents were closer to them than to their sibling, and they had the most behavior problems if both parents were closer to their sibling than to them. In families in which the mother was closer to one sibling and the father was closer to the other sibling, children had adjustment outcomes that fell in between the other two groups but did not differ significantly from them.


Corresponding author

Clare Stocker, Department of Psychology, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208.


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