The Impact of Anger between Adults on Siblings' Emotions and Social Behavior


Requests for reprints to E. Mark Cummings, Department of Psychology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506–6040, USA


Abstract— Peer and sibling dyads (older children = 5–7 years; younger children = 2–5 years) were presented with simulations of friendly, angry, and resolution interactions between a male adult and the mother in the context of play sessions Expressions of positive effect increased among female siblings during the anger period and continued to be more common in the resolution period than in other groups. Prosocial behavior among male siblings greatly increased in the resolution period, with siblings generally more prosocial towards each other than peers in this period. The findings suggest that siblings may attempt to buffer each other from the stress of exposure to adults' discord.