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Journal Article

Sibling Temperaments, Conflict, Warmth, and Role Asymmetry

Zolinda Stoneman and Gene H. Brody
Child Development
Vol. 64, No. 6 (Dec., 1993), pp. 1786-1800
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131469
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131469
Page Count: 15
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Sibling Temperaments, Conflict, Warmth, and Role Asymmetry
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Abstract

The association between sibling temperament combinations (activity and adaptability) and qualitative aspects of the sibling relationship were examined, including in-home observations of sibling positivity/warmth, negativity/conflict, social engagement, and role asymmetry and older sibling perceptions of warmth/closeness, conflict, and status/power. The sample consisted of 67 same-gender, school-aged sibling pairs. Highest levels of negativity/conflict occurred when both siblings were high in activity and when the older sibling was rated as more active than the younger. Conflict was lowest when both siblings were low in activity. Warmth/positivity was greatest when both children were similar in activity level. Siblings were more socially engaged when the the older sibling was more adaptable than the younger. Perceived status/power was greatest when younger siblings were low in adaptability. When between-temperament-dimension relationships were examined, observed conflict was greatest when older siblings were high in activity and younger siblings were nonadaptable. Gender and age-related findings are also reported. Findings highlight the importance of identifying the complex ways in which varying dimensions of sibling temperaments combine to influence specific aspects of the sibling relationship.

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