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Siblings’ Interpretations of Conflict: The Link Between Relationship Quality and Conflict Strategies?

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Siblings’ Interpretations of Conflict: The Link Between Relationship Quality and Conflict Strategies?

Rajput, Amandeep (2014) Siblings’ Interpretations of Conflict: The Link Between Relationship Quality and Conflict Strategies? Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Research demonstrates that children who have a positive sibling relationship quality also employ more constructive conflict strategies, however, the mechanism underlying this association is unclear. Peer research suggests that children’s interpretation of disputes is associated with the way conflict is resolved, however, the interpretive processes underlying sibling disputes are understudied. This study adapted methodological approaches frequently used in peer research (i.e., hypothetical provocation scenarios in which the perpetrator’s intent is ambiguous) for use with siblings. We expected that children’s attribution of intent would explain the link between sibling relationship quality and conflict strategies employed during sibling disputes. A total of 122 six-to eight-year-old children (62 younger and 60 older siblings; 49 girls) were presented with ambiguous provocation scenarios and asked to attribute their siblings’ intent. Responses were coded as accidental, instrumental, hostile, or Machiavellian. Questionnaires assessed conflict strategies, types of aggression, and sibling relationship quality. Results revealed that children attributed more hostile intent to older siblings and instrumental intent to younger siblings. Moreover, when children had a more negative relationship quality with their siblings they also reported using fewer constructive strategies and engaged in more aggressive behaviors. In addition, sibling relationship quality was negatively associated with hostile intent and positively linked to instrumental intent. Furthermore, children who attributed more instrumental intent also used more constructive conflict strategies. Finally, attributions of intent did not explain the link between relationship quality and conflict strategies employed. This study suggests that methodologies commonly used with peers can be adapted to further our understanding of conflict processes among siblings.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Rajput, Amandeep
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Child Studies
Date:November 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Recchia, Holly
ID Code:978985
Deposited By: AMANDEEP RAJPUT
Deposited On:05 Nov 2014 20:22
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:48
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