Understanding Sibling Relationships in Blended Families

Michael Yee Shui, Bowling Green State University

Studies on blended families in the US have highlighted that shared biological children in these families fare worse than those from simple biological families but just as well as stepfamilies. This is inconsistent with what would be expected for biological children residing with their parents and some researchers have suggested that the presence of half-siblings contributes to this difference. This study examines the blended family context and its consequences for sibling relationships. Growth curve models of three waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health show that: (1)sibling relationships are, over time, of lower quality for siblings in both simple step- and blended families compared to children in intact families (2) marital and parent-child relationship quality positively affected sibling relationship quality and (3)these effects, though reduced, remain significant with the inclusion of controls.

Presented in Poster Session 2