When quality trumps quantity: siblings and the development of peer relationships

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Child Indicators Research

Authors

Deniz Yucel and Douglas B. Downey

Publication date

Summary

A growing body of research suggests that individuals raised with
siblings gain social skills that facilitate relationship building with
others. But while this pattern has been demonstrated among
kindergartners and adults, surprisingly it does not replicate among
adolescents. We analyze 4188 10–15 years olds from the United Kingdom
Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) and replicate the previous pattern—number of siblings is
unrelated to peer relationship quality. But unlike past studies, we
explore how sibling relationship quality matters. It turns out that
while the number of siblings is inconsequential, the quality of sibling
relationships plays an important role in shaping the quality of peer
relationships. While past research implies that siblings play no role in
developing the skills necessary for building and maintaining other
relationships among youths, our study clarifies how the quality of
sibling relationships (but not the quantity) is a meaningful contributor
to the development of peer relationships.

Volume and page numbers

8, 845-865

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12187-014-9276-0

ISSN

16

Subjects

Young People, Child Development, Social Behaviour and Social Psychology

Notes

Not held in Research Library - bibliographic reference only