Adult sibling expressed emotion and fellow sibling deviance: A new piece of the family process puzzle.


Seventy-three older siblings were assessed in early adulthood with the Five-Minute Speech Sample (FMSS) measure of expressed emotion. Sibling critical expressed emotion was linked with younger brother concomitant and future antisocial behavior, substance use, deviant peer association, increased rate of criminal arrests, and early onset sexual activity. Siblings of younger brothers with behavior problems were also more likely to be critical of, and to report negative relationships with, these brothers than were siblings of well-adjusted brothers. Sibling critical expressed emotion also predicted younger brothers' maladjustment 1-2 years later, after controlling for earlier sibling conflict and parent discipline. The findings accentuate the importance of understanding the influence of intrafamilial processes in the etiology of behavior problems.

Publication Title

Journal of Family Psychology