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Keywords:

  • African American;
  • competence;
  • rural;
  • siblings;
  • single mothers

Older siblings' contributions to younger siblings' competence net of parenting processes were examined with 152 pairs of first-born (M= 11.7 years) and second-born (M= 9.2 years) siblings in rural, single-parent African American families. The possible moderational effect of sibling conflict on the association between older and younger siblings' competence was also examined. Mothers reported their parenting practices, teachers assessed siblings' competence, and older siblings reported sibling conflict levels. Structural equation modeling indicated that parenting was linked with older siblings' competence, which in turn was linked with competence among younger siblings. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that older and younger siblings' competencies were linked when sibling relationships included low levels of conflict.