Eric D. Widmer

Widmer,E. D. (1997). Influence of older siblings on initiation of sexual intercourse. Journal of Marriage and the Family, vol. 59, pp. 928-938.

Based on a definition of social support as a buffer against stressful events or situations, we hypothesize in this research that support from well-adjusted older siblings is associated with positive developmental adjustment for disadvantaged inner-city adolescents. Using 148 matched pairs of independent interviews of cohabiting siblings from an urban area, this analysis investigates the association between older sibling support, older siblings’ adjustment, and younger siblings’ adjustment in the areas of delinquency, academic success, and mental health. We find that sibling support is non-significantly correlated with all three areas of developmental adjustment for younger siblings. Only when accompanied by a positive image of their older sibling is support associated with positive developmental adjustment for younger siblings. independent interviews of cohabiting adolescent siblings (from Philadelphia), and controlling for parental attitudes and behavior relevant to teenage sexuality, this analysis investigates several effects associated with older siblings as orientational others. Interaction of these effects with gender is addressed. The results indicate that the sexual behavior of older brothers has a significant influence on the timing of younger siblings’ initiation of sexual intercourse.

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