The Effects of Working Mothers on Sibling Rivalry

Anna Tsang
The Master's College

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/v8/tsang.html

Abstract Research suggests “links between maternal management styles and sibling relationship quality have been established” (Howe, Fiorentino, & Gariepty, 2003, p. 187). The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not sibling rivalry is affected by working mothers. The survey instrument, which requested demographic information in addition to six Likert-type scale questions, was distributed to students at the University of California, Davis, and The Master's College in Santa Clarita, CA, during the spring of 2008. STATPAK was employed to examine the data and the One-Dimensional Chi-square test was used for data analysis. All but one of the responses met the level of significance in the results. The conclusions of this research are such that they suggest that the relationship between siblings appears to be a multi-faceted relationship influenced by various factors.


Introduction Sibling rivalry is a common reality of life in families with more than one child. The impact that parents have in the lives of their children not only affects each individual child’s life, but also the relationships among siblings. The competition between siblings may have benefits, but there will commonly be resentment “if one child feels slighted by a parent who appears to favor another” (McDevitt & Ormord, 2007, p. 165). There are many suggested parenting and educational strategies to prevent such rivalry among siblings. McDevitt & Ormord (2007) suggest that educators “avoid making comparisons between students and their siblings” (p. 166). In the home, competition over the parents’ attention is a main factor behind sibling rivalry. Studies on the parent-child relationship have examined the influencing factors of parents on sibling rivalry and “most of the research on children’s sibling relationships has emphasized maternal rather than paternal influences” (Kramer & Baron, 1995, ¶ 4).

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/v8/tsang.html