Browsing by Subject "GENETIC RELATEDNESS"

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  • Tanskanen, Antti O.; Danielsbacka, Mirkka; Jokela, Markus; Rotkirch, Anna (2017)
    Sibling relations are by nature ambivalent with high levels of both altruistic helping and competition. Higher relatedness is often assumed to reduce the occurrence of conflicts between siblings, but evidence of this has been scarce and mixed. Siblings typically compete over resources and parental attention, and parental constellations vary with sibship types. Since full-siblings compete over the same two biological parents, while half-siblings have only one shared biological parent and often a higher number of parents overall, it is hypothesized that conflicts are more common between full- than half-siblings. This study tested this assumption using the British Millennium Cohort Study (n=7527 children at age 11). Conflicts were measured as children's reports of how much siblings picked on and hurt each other. Households with full-siblings only, maternal half-siblings only, and both full- and maternal half-siblings were compared. The results show that children who were living with only their full-siblings were more likely to experience sibling conflicts compared with children living with their maternal half-siblings only. This was the case also after controlling for several potentially confounding variables. The results suggest that differential access to parental resources of available biological and step-parents may explain the higher amount of sibling conflict between full- compared with maternal half-siblings.