Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Kenneth L. Beauchamp

First Committee Member

Martin T. Gipson

Second Committee Member

Michael Davis


The present study explored how behavioral interactions in two-male sibling families during structured play may be affected by the relative ages of siblings and by the interaction situations involved. Six dyadic interaction situations of 30 minutes duration each were observed among members of 12 normal families in their homes, once a week for five consecutive weeks. Families were categorized into three groups: (a) a younger sibling and an older sibling between 2-5 years of age, (b) 2-5 year-old younger sibling and 6-9 year-old older sibling, and (c) a younger sibling and an older sibling between 6-9 years of age. The interaction situations consisted of (a) child-directed interaction with mother, (b) child-directed interaction with father, (c) child directed interaction with older sibling, (d) mother-directed interaction, (e) father-directed interaction, and (f) older sibling-directed interaction. The coding system included 34 discrete behaviors. When interaction situations were combined into parent-child and older sibling-child interaction situations, a linear combination of six behaviors correctly classified cases 89% of the time. A second stepwise discriminant analysis grouped families such that one group contained older siblings that were of preschool age and the second group contained older siblings of elementary school age. A linear combination of five behaviors was able to correctly classify cases 87% of the time. Three canonical correlations showed significant relationships between parent/sibling and child behaviors. The nature of these relationships tended to support reciprocal influence as an important element in family interaction. Results of discriminant analyses indicated that, for families with a preschool male, patterns of interaction are influenced by whether the older male sibling is of preschool or elementary school age.



Included in

Psychology Commons