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Keywords:

  • adolescents;
  • modeling;
  • sibling deidentification;
  • sibling differentiation;
  • sibling influence;
  • sibling relationships

Abstract: This study examined the nature and correlates of adolescents’ perceptions of sibling influence. Participants included 2 siblings (firstborn age M= 17.34; second-born age M= 14.76 years) from 191 maritally intact families. Adolescents’ perceptions of sibling influence were measured via coded responses to open-ended questions about whether their sibling had an influence on them. Analyses revealed that older and younger siblings reported different patterns of influence. Differentiation influence and being a role model were more prevalent for firstborns, whereas modeling and modeling plus differentiation were more prevalent for second-borns. First- and second-borns’ reports of influence were linked differentially to their relational and personal qualities. Discussion focuses on the need to refine the measurement of sibling influence processes.