The consequences of antisocial behavior in older male siblings for younger brothers and sisters.


The contribution of younger male and female siblings' conflict and involvement in deviant activities with their older brothers to younger siblings' adolescent adjustment problems was examined in the context of parenting. Ineffective parenting during younger siblings' childhood had no direct effects on adjustment but facilitated their exposure to older brothers' deviant peers and activities. The effect of sibling conflict on adjustment was mediated by younger siblings' coparticipation in deviant activities with their older brothers during adolescence. Early sibling conflict and coparticipation in deviant activities synergistically increased the risk for younger siblings' adolescent adjustment problems. These empirical relations held in the context of parental discipline of younger siblings during adolescence. Sibling relationships entail a set of iterative social processes that strongly influence risk for adolescent antisocial behavior, drug use, sexual behavior, and traumatic experience. Variations in sibling influence were observed conditional on the gender combination of the sibling pair and on sibling age differences. Copyright 2005 by the American Psychological Association.

Publication Title

Journal of Family Psychology