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Parenting Programs to Improve Sibling Interactions: A Meta-Analysis

Leijten, PHO; Melendez-Torres, GJ; Oliver, BR; (2021) Parenting Programs to Improve Sibling Interactions: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Family Psychology 10.1037/fam0000833. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Sibling relationships have a profound and lasting impact on children’s development and parents often seek for ways to optimize them. Programs to guide parents in efforts to improve sibling interactions draw from different perspectives (mainly behavior management and mediation) and advise the use of different techniques (mainly direct children’s behavior using reinforcement practices or maintain impartiality and facilitate communication). We systematically searched PsycINFO and MEDLINE for randomized evaluations of parenting programs to improve sibling interactions, to estimate their effects on sibling interactions, and identified eight studies (136 effect sizes): four evaluations of behavior management, three evaluations of mediation; and one evaluation of behavior management combined with mediation. The overall effect of the programs on sibling interactions was substantial (d = 0.85, 95% [CI 0.27, 1.43]). Subgroup analyses of more specific outcomes (i.e., positive versus negative interactions, and communication skills, problem solving skills, and aggression) suggested substantial but imprecisely estimated and heterogeneous effects. Evidence for the superiority of either approach (behavior management or mediation) was unsystematic. Our findings indicate that the parenting program literature for sibling interactions is relatively immature in terms of the number, size, and robustness of studies— substantially lagging behind that of other family interventions. Available studies suggest promising effects, but their small numbers and ample heterogeneity result in imprecise estimations. We call for a more systematic body of evidence to understand the promise and boundary effects of the various parenting program approaches for improving sibling interactions.

Type: Article
Title: Parenting Programs to Improve Sibling Interactions: A Meta-Analysis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/fam0000833
Publisher version: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/fam
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: siblings; parenting program; meta-analysis; behavior management; mediation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10117692
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