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Title:The Role of Emotion Regulation in Promoting Prosocial Sibling Relationships
Author(s):Kubose, Denise Kennedy
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kramer, Laurie
Department / Program:Human and Community Development
Discipline:Human and Community Development
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Abstract:Emotion regulation has been recognized as a significant component of children's social development that plays a predominant role in helping to establish prosocial interactions with family members and peers (Blair, Denham, Kochanoff, & Whipple, 2004). Conflicts between siblings represent a significant problem for many families. Because the sibling relationship is a potentially volatile one, the promotion of emotion regulation skills may reduce negativity in this relationship. The goal of this study was to investigate whether strengthening emotion regulation and prosocial sibling behaviors, through an intervention program, More Fun with Sisters and Brothers (MFWSB), leads to improved sibling relationship quality in children aged 4 to 8 years. Sibling dyads were randomly assigned to an experimental (n = 55) or wait list control (n = 40) group. Parents provided pre- and post-test reports of five dimensions of their children's emotion regulation abilities (i.e., inhibitory control, self-control, down regulation, regulation of positive emotions/exuberance, and regulation of negative emotions) and three dimensions of sibling relationship quality (warmth, agonism, and rivalry/competition). Participation in MFWSB was associated with improvements in down regulation for older, F (1, 76) = 11.87, p < .001, and younger, F (1, 76) = 9.49, p < .01, siblings, whereas children in the control condition showed no improvements. Improved down regulation indicated that children needed less direction from parents to control their behaviors and refrain from directing negative behaviors toward others. Repeated measures ANOVAs tested the effects of the intervention on parents' reports of sibling relationship quality. Significant group by observation interaction effects emerged for both sibling Warmth, F (1, 94) = 6.61, p < .01, and Agonism, F (1, 94) = 13.15, p < .001. Children in the experimental condition improved in these dimensions whereas children in the control group exhibited less sibling Warmth and no change in Agonism. These results indicate the value of MFWSB as an intervention program aimed at helping children regulate emotions and improve sibling relationship quality. Implications of these results for future research and practice include the importance of developing intervention programs that improve emotion regulation skills and lead to harmonious rather than conflictual sibling relationships.
Issue Date:2006
Description:135 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3242903
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2006

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