Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

My brother, my friend: Positive sibling relationships, peer acceptance, and internalizing problems in low-income boys

Nchols, Sara (2012) My brother, my friend: Positive sibling relationships, peer acceptance, and internalizing problems in low-income boys. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (1MB) | Preview


80% of American children grow up in a household with one or more siblings (Dunn, 2000). These relationships are known to be intense and highly affectively-charged (Dunn, 1983) and are many individuals’ longest-duration relationships, extending across the lifespan farther than most friendships, marital, or parental relationships (Dunn, 1998; Sroufe et al, 2005). A growing body of work suggests that sibling relationships contribute to children’s social, cognitive and emotional development, as well as to eventual psychopathology outcomes (Brody, 1998). The current study examines low-income boys’ sibling play interactions at age five as a predictor of their subsequent psychological adjustment in later childhood (N = 133). In particular, positive play is examined as a marker of high-quality sibling relationships. The study makes four primary contributions to the field: 1) Identifying child and family predictors of positive sibling interaction in a high-risk sample of young children observed during regular play; 2) Finding differences in positive sibling interactions between siblings with small and large age differences, older versus younger siblings, and African-American and European-American sibling dyads; 3) Demonstrating a relationship between positive sibling interaction at five years of age and absence of psychiatric diagnoses and fewer symptoms up to seven years later in boys at risk for psychopathology; and 4) Identifying the unique contributions of positive sibling relationships, independent of family functioning and peer relationships, in buffering against the development of psychopathology in this high-risk sample. Results suggest that sibling interactions and in particular, resolution of conflict and negative affect during sibling play, are important directions for continued examination and intervention.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Nchols, Sarasrn1@pitt.eduSRN1
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBrownell, Celiabrownell@pitt.eduBROWNELL
Committee MemberShaw, Danielcasey@pitt.eduCASEY
Committee MemberCampbell, Susancampbell@pitt.eduCAMPBELL
Committee MemberSilk,
Date: 27 September 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 July 2012
Approval Date: 27 September 2012
Submission Date: 8 August 2012
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 162
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Siblings; family relationships; Child psychopathology
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2012 01:44
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2017 05:15


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item