Reciprocal links among differential parenting, perceived partiality, and self-worth: a three-wave longitudinal study

J Fam Psychol. 2005 Dec;19(4):633-42. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.19.4.633.


This study examined reciprocal links between parental differential treatment, siblings' perception of partiality, and self-worth with 3 waves of data from 384 adolescent sibling dyads. Results suggest that birth-order status was significantly associated with self-worth and perception of maternal and paternal differential treatment. There was a consistent across-time effect of self-worth on perception of parental partiality for later born siblings, but not earlier born siblings, and a consistent effect of differential treatment on perception of partiality for earlier born but not later born siblings. The results contribute new insight into the associations between perception of differential parenting and adolescents' adjustment and the role of birth order.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Birth Order / psychology
  • Child
  • Competitive Behavior / physiology
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychology, Adolescent / methods
  • Self Concept*
  • Sibling Relations
  • Social Perception*