Why Can’t I Be More Like My Brother? The Role and Correlates of Sibling Social Comparison Orientation
Siblings, Social comparison, Depressive symptoms, Differential treatment Family relationships
Siblings play an important role in relational and individual development throughout adolescence and beyond through several mechanisms. Central to this role and the mechanisms of sibling influence is the notion that siblings provide a constant and meaningful frame of reference for social comparison. This study examined the role of sibling social comparison orientation, or the tendency of siblings to compare themselves to one another, on youths’ depressive symptoms and family relationships, both directly and by moderating links with parental differential treatment. Participants included 338 youth (M age = 18.34, SD = 1.03; 52 % female). Using hierarchical ordinary least squares regression, we found that a higher sibling social comparison orientation was linked with more depressive symptoms, warmer sibling relationships, and more sibling conflict. Additionally, sibling social comparison orientation moderated links of parental differential treatment with depressive symptoms and prosocial behavior toward family members such that effects were more salient for those with a high comparison orientation. The discussion focuses on the role of sibling comparison in the ways that siblings influence one another’s development.
Original Publication Citation
Jensen, A. C., *Pond, A. M., & Padilla-Walker, L. M. (2015). Why can’t I be more like my brother? The role and correlates of sibling social comparison. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44, 2067-2078. doi:10.1007/s10964-015-0327-8
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Jensen, Alexander C.; Pond, Amanda M.; and Padilla-Walker, Laura M., "Why Can’t I Be More Like My Brother? The Role and Correlates of Sibling Social Comparison Orientation" (2015). All Faculty Publications. 2664.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
Received: 14 May 2015 / Accepted: 13 July 2015 / Published online: 25 July 2015 © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015