This study examined associations between parents' attributions of culpability and their observed interventions into sibling conflict. A total of 61 primary caregivers judged who was at fault for a sibling conflict and subsequently discussed the event with their two children (aged 4–10 years). Nonunilateral fault attributions (blaming both children or neither child) were related to parents' discussion of the reasons underlying children's behavior/perspectives and were more frequent when the age gap between children was larger. Parents selectively referred to their younger child's point of view in conversation and, when the age gap was larger, selectively provided evidence in favor of their younger child. Results extend previous research by providing novel insight into how parents' conflict judgments are linked to their intervention strategies with older and younger siblings and by identifying the circumstances in which parents intervene in ways that promote children's mutual understanding and constructive conflict strategies.
Recchia, Holly E.; Wainryb, Cecilia; and Howe, Nina
"Two Sides to Every Story? Parents’ Attributions of Culpability and Their Interventions Into Sibling Conflict,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 59
, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol59/iss1/1