A Pilot Study of Younger Sibling Adaptation: Contributions of Individual Variables, Daily Stress, Interparental Conflict and Older Sibling’s Variables


  • Laura Merino
  • Ana Martínez-Pampliega
  • David Herrero-Fernández


Older siblings are powerful socialization agents, playing a significant role in the sociocognitive, social, and emotional development of their younger siblings. However, there are few clues about the variables that explain younger sibling’s adaptation. The objective of this pilot study was to identify the determinants of younger siblings' adaptation and to analyze the role played by personal, sibling, family and older siblings’ variables using 50 dyads of siblings aged between 7 and 18 years. The variables considered were the sibling relationships and the maladaptation of older siblings, and individual (sex, number of siblings, extroversion, and agreeableness) and contextual variables (interparental conflict, daily stress) were controlled. Hierarchical multiple regressions provided evidence in favor of the model that analyzed the younger siblings' maladaptation to school, showing positive associations both with the older siblings' level of school maladaptation and with sibling conflict. In addition, the study highlighted the relevance of the trait of agreeableness and of family stress in the adaptation of younger siblings.