Childhood sibling relationship quality and achievement outcomes in university students: Mediation by psychological distress and personal mastery

Amy Kraft, Charles Stayton, Arthi Satyanarayan, Linda Luecken

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Recent research suggests that sibling relationships during childhood affect developmental trajectories well into and past adolescence. The current study hypothesized that childhood sibling relationship quality would be correlated with achievement motivation and college GPA in young adulthood. In addition, mediational models evaluated current distress and personal mastery as mediators of the relation between childhood sibling relationships and achievement-related outcomes. Data was collected through a survey administered to 392 students at a large public university (mean age = 18.9, SD=1.1; 47% female; 74% Caucasian, 8% Hispanic, 6% African American, 6% Asian, 6% other). Participants had at least one sibling and were from continuously married families or families in which the parents divorced at least two years previously. Survey measures assessed sibling relationship quality, current distress (anxiety and depressive symptoms), personal mastery, achievement motivation, and self-reported college GPA. Poor sibling relationships during childhood were significantly associated with lower achievement motivation and lower college GPA, both of which were mediated by current levels of distress. Personal mastery mediated the relation between sibling relationship quality and achievement motivation. A multiple mediator model found both personal mastery and current distress to significantly mediate the relationship between sibling relationships and achievement motivation. This study highlights the considerable influence of sibling relationships on academic outcomes, and provides further insight into possible interventions for individuals experiencing poor academic achievement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPsychology of Family Relationships
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages159-171
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781614707097
ISBN (Print)9781606922682
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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    Kraft, A., Stayton, C., Satyanarayan, A., & Luecken, L. (2009). Childhood sibling relationship quality and achievement outcomes in university students: Mediation by psychological distress and personal mastery. In Psychology of Family Relationships (pp. 159-171). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..