One hundred twelve white, middle class 10-14-year-olds participated in a descriptive study of conflict with their closest sibling and best friend. Analysis of questionnaire ratings (completed by all participants) revealed that frequency of conflict was significantly related to ratings of the friend's importance and satisfaction with the friendship but was not related to sibling relationship ratings. Descriptions of specific conflicts in the two relationships (provided by 81 youngsters) were compared to examine the onset, process, and aftermath of conflict. Conflicts between siblings and friends differed in how they were structured and experienced, suggesting that conflict functions differently in each relationship. The possible developmental implications of relationship differences in interpersonal conflict are discussed, and directions for future research identified.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)