Parental responses to sibling conflict: The effects of development and parent gender

Laurie Kramer, Lisa A. Perozynski, Tsai Yen Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mothers' and fathers' responses to their children's spontaneous sibling conflicts were observed using a wireless microphone system. Eighty-eight two-child, two-parent families participated in three home observations. Secondborn children were 3 to 5 years of age and firstborn children were 2 to 4 years older. Associations between parents' enactment of three categories of conflict management strategies (passive nonintervention, child-centered management, and parental control) and sibling interaction quality varied according to children's ages gender of the monitoring parent, and type of strategy used. Passive nonintervention was highly associated with the occurrence of subsequent conflict. Younger sibling dyads, in particular, behaved more antagonistically when their parents did not intervene. In contrast, older sibling dyads were less involved and less close when their mothers intervened in any way. Results suggest that relatively younger sibling dyads may benefit more than older dyads from parental intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1401-1414
Number of pages14
JournalChild development
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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