Doctoral Candidate, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, 314 Gentry Hall, Columbia, MO, 65211.
Sibling Conversations About Dating and Sexuality: Sisters as Confidants, Sources of Support, and Mentors
Article first published online: 3 MAR 2014
© 2014 by the National Council on Family Relations
Volume 63, Issue 2, pages 232–243, April 2014
How to Cite
Killoren, S. E. and Roach, A. L. (2014), Sibling Conversations About Dating and Sexuality: Sisters as Confidants, Sources of Support, and Mentors. Family Relations, 63: 232–243. doi: 10.1111/fare.12057
- Issue published online: 3 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 3 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 15 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Received: 22 APR 2013
- romantic relationships;
- sibling communication;
- sibling relationships
Using an observational methodology to examine sibling communication, sisters (N = 28 dyads) were videotaped discussing their ideas about dating and sexuality. Social provision theory was used as a framework for the examination of roles enacted by sisters during these conversations. Inductive thematic analytic procedures were conducted, and three roles were identified: sisters as confidants, sources of support, and mentors. Older and younger sisters served as confidants and sources of support for one another, whereas older sisters were more likely to be mentors for their younger sisters than vice versa. Findings indicate the potential importance of sisters in the formation of adolescent girls' ideas about romantic relationships and sexuality, sibling communication as a socialization mechanism of sisters' similarities in romantic experiences and sexual behaviors/attitudes, and the inclusion of older sisters in prevention intervention programs focused on reducing adolescent sexual risk behaviors and promoting healthy romantic relationships and sexuality development.