Sibling Modeling and Deidentification in Three Sibling Families Summary

by Kansas Schure

This study examined the theories of sibling modeling and deidentification in sibling relationships. Specifically, it looked at three-sibling relationships, as well as the gender of each of the siblings and whether or not siblings modeled or deidentified from their siblings. Sibling deidentification is the idea that some siblings try to be different from one another. Modeling occurs when siblings try to be like another sibling. The study examined three different domains (School, Sports, and Appearance) within which individuals may try to be the same as or different from their siblings. Participants were 61 undergraduate students at Brandon University (M=20.8, SD=4.09 years). Participants completed questionnaires about their relationship with their siblings. It was hypothesized that younger siblings would model after their older siblings more than older siblings would model after their younger siblings. It was also hypothesized that siblings of the same sex would de-identify more than mixed-sex siblings, and that siblings who were closer in age would de-identify more than siblings who were farther apart in age. The hypotheses were not supported in the study. It was found that siblings were more likely to model after their siblings than they are to deidentify with them. The results showed that when siblings model after their siblings they were more likely to compete with them as well. It was also discovered that the closer in age siblings were the higher the amount of conflict they had.