Theses Doctoral

Effects of Exposure to Parental Divorce on the Sibling Relationship in Emerging Adults

Nitzburg, George Coolidge

Despite divorce's deleterious effects on child siblings and the importance of sibling support across the lifespan, little is known about how parental divorce affects sibling relationships in emerging adulthood. An Internet study investigated how emerging adults' sibling relationships are impacted by parental divorce exposure (n=1,167; aged 18-29 years) and the timing of divorce (n=296 sub sample from divorced families). Parental divorce exposure predicted lower adult sibling warmth, but not increased conflict or rivalry, suggesting adult sibling estrangement. Among offspring of divorce, the timing of parental divorce interacted with current sibling contact to predict adult sibling rivalry, suggesting some siblings may sacrifice relationship quality to accommodate post-divorce family dynamics. How siblings' separation/individuation and identity formation may contribute to divorce effects is discussed.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Farber, Barry A.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 27, 2012