Graduation Year

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Vicky Phares, Ph.D.

Keywords

Family relations, Emotional problems, Parenting behaviors, College students, APIM

Abstract

This study explored the relations among young adults' perceptions of differential parental treatment, temperamental style, attitudes toward their childhood and current sibling relationships, and psychological adjustment. Participants included 87 college students and their siblings between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Students completed measures in small groups, and siblings completed the surveys via mail. The data were analyzed using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM; Kashy & Kenny, 1999). Results revealed that participants' perceptions of their sibling relationship during childhood were related to their current attitudes toward the relationship. In addition, siblings were in agreement regarding their overall attitudes toward the sibling relationship as well as in their perceptions of their interactions with their parents. Siblings' reports higher levels of differential maternal and paternal control were related significantly to perceptions of less positive sibling interactions. Females and individuals with a sister reported higher levels of positivity in the sibling relationship than did males and individuals reporting on a brother. Level of psychological adjustment was found to be better for individuals who experienced more paternal control according to their sibling. Temperamental characteristics were found to be related to attitudes toward the sibling relationship and reports of parenting behaviors. Results are discussed within the context of family-based research regarding parent-child and sibling relationships.

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