Investigating dyadic interactions within the family as an interdependent system : associations between mothers and adolescent siblings
Adolescence is a developmental time period of self-exploration and self-discovery for that brings about change to family processes and interactions. Conflict during this time can be interpreted as a mechanism that reconceptionalizes how the family as a system operates. In light of research supporting the increase in parent-adolescent conflict and the importance of sibling relationship qualities during adolescence, the literature is unclear about how these two aspects of family interactions are associated with each other and their implications within the family system. Therefore, the present study examined the interconnectedness of family subsystems and changes in family processes and dynamics in adolescence over time. The present study found that sibling relationship quality influenced the trajectory of parent-adolescent conflict over time. Specifically, spillover effects and compensation effects were found in both adolescent-reported and mother-reported adolescent conflict. Importantly, the context of sibling gender composition revealed that spillover and compensation effects were stronger for same-sex siblings than for mixed-sex siblings. The results showcase the importance of examining multiple familial relationships during adolescent development and illustrate how family interactions and processes are interconnected.
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