Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

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

  • Clare M. Stocker (a1)

Abstract

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.

Copyright

Corresponding author

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

References

Hide All
Achenbach, T. M., & Edelbrock, C. S. (1983). Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist and Revised Child Behavior Profile. Burlington: University of Vermont, Psychiatry Department.
Brody, G., Stoneman, Z., & Burke, M. (1987). Child temperaments, maternal differential behavior and sibling relationships. Developmental Psychology, 23 (3), 354362.
Brody, G., Stoneman, Z., & McCoy, J. K. (1992). Associations of maternal and paternal direct and differential behavior with sibling relationships: Contemporaneous and longitudinal analyses. Child Development, 63, 8292.
Bryant, B., & Crockenberg, S. (1980). Correlates and dimensions of prosocial behavior: A study of female siblings with their mothers. Child Development, 51, 354362.
Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. L. (1991). A developmental perspective on internalizing and externalizing disorders. In: Cicchetti, D. & Toth, S. L. (Eds.), Internalizing and externalizing expressions of dysfunction: Rochester symposium on developmental psychopathology (Vol. 2, pp. 120). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Daniels, D., Dunn, J., Furstenberg, F., & Plomin, R. (1985). Environmental differences within the family and adjustment differences within pairs of adolescent siblings. Child Development, 56, 764774.
Dunn, J. (1983). Sibling relationships during early childhood. Child Development, 54, 787811.
Dunn, J., & Munn, P. (1985). Becoming a family member: Family conflict and the development of social understanding in the second year. Child Development, 56, 480492.
Dunn, J., & Plomin, R. (1990). Separate lives: Why siblings are so different. New York: Basic Books.
Dunn, J., Stocker, C., & Plomin, R. (1990). Nonshared experiences within the family: Correlates of behavioral problems in middle childhood. Development and Psychopathology, 2, 113126.
Edelbrock, C., Costello, A. J., Dulcan, M., Kalas, R., & Conover, N. C. (1985). Age differences in the reliability of the psychiatric interview of the child. Child Development, 56, 265275.
Furman, W., & Buhrmester, D. (1985). Children's perceptions of the qualities of their sibling relationships. Child Development, 56, 448461.
Hetherington, E. M., & Clingempeel, W. G. (1992). Coping with marital transitions: A family system perspective. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 57 (2–3, Serial No. 227).
Lamb, M. E. (1981). The role of the father in child development (2nd Ed.). New York: Wiley & Sons.
Maccoby, E. E., & Martin, J. A. (1983). Socialization in the context of the family: Parent-child interaction. In Mussen, P. H. (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology, Vol. IV, Socialization, personality and social development (pp. 1102). New York: Wiley.
McGuire, S., Dunn, J., & Plomin, R. (1995). Maternal differential treatment of siblings and children's behavioral problems: A longitudinal study. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 515528.
McHale, S. M., & Gamble, W. C. (1989). Sibling relationships of children with disabled and nondisabled brothers and sisters. Developmental Psychology, 25, 421429.
McHale, S. M., & Pawletko, T. M. (1992). Differential treatment in two family contexts. Child Development, 63, 6881.
McHale, S. M., Crouter, A. C., McGuire, S. A., & Updegraff, K. A. (1995). Congruence between mothers' and fathers' differential treatment of siblings: Links with family relations and children's well-being. Child Development, 66, 116128.
Parke, R. D. (1978). Fathers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Pike, A., Reiss, D., Hetherington, E. M., & Plomin, R. (1994). Using MZ differences as a stringent test in the search of nonshared environmental influences. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Plomin, R., & Daniels, D. (1987). Why are children in the same family so different from one another? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 10, 116.
Rovine, M. (1993). Estimating non-shared environment using sibling discrepancy scores. In Hetherington, E. M., Reiss, D., & Plomin, R. (Eds.), Separate social worlds of siblings: Importance of nonshared environment on development. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Rowe, D., & Plomin, R. (1977). Temperament in early childhood. Journal of Personality Assessment, 41, 150156.
Scarr, S., & McCartney, K. (1985). How people make their own environments: A theory of genotype-environment effects. Child Development, 54, 424435.
Siegal, M. (1987). Are sons and daughters treated more differently by fathers than by mothers? Developmental Review, 7, 193209.
Stocker, C., Dunn, J., & Plomin, R. (1989). Sibling relationships: Links with temperament, maternal behavior and family structure. Child Development, 55, 617627.
Stocker, C. (1993). Siblings' adjustment in middle childhood: Links with mother-child relationships. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 14, 485499.
Stocker, C., Lanthier, R., & Furman, W. (1995). Sibling relationships in early adulthood. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Volling, B. L., & Belsky, J. (1992). The contribution of mother-child and father-child relationships to the quality of sibling interaction: A longitudinal study. Child Development, 63, 12091222.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed