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Intergenerational Solidarity and Support Between Adult Siblings


Department of Sociology/ICS, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80140 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands (


Using a Dutch national sample containing 1,259 triads (two siblings, one parent), we examined whether practical support and emotional support between siblings are enhanced by intergenerational solidarity and how this differs for brothers and sisters. Sibling support was affected by sibling dyad characteristics and by the relationship with the parent. Having a poor relationship and low contact frequency with the parent enhances sibling emotional support, pointing to a compensating mechanism, which is stronger among brothers. Sibling support is also positively related to parental support, suggesting a reinforcing mechanism, especially among sisters. The results contribute new information about influences on sibling support in adulthood and demonstrate the value of including family context variables in research on specific family relationships.