The role of authority on emotional disclosure within sibling relationships

Scott, Darby Nicole
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Limited research has focused on the unique characteristics of sibling relationships which differentiate them from close relationships. The current study seeks to build upon foundational research on authority (authoritativeness and authoritarianism), self-disclosure, relationship satisfaction, and characteristics of sibling relationships (birth order, age gap, and sex composition) within the context of sibling dyads. Data were collected via an online survey from 193 participants; however, as the focus of this study centers on siblings in emerging adulthood, participants over the age of 25 were dropped from the analysis. The data from the remaining 187 respondents included their perception of a selected siblings’ authority style, their own authority style, self-disclosure, and relationship satisfaction with their sibling. Analyses revealed that both participant and sibling authoritarianism were positively correlated with relationship satisfaction. Additionally, older siblings reported engaging in more disclosure than younger siblings. Finally, controlling for participant and sibling sex, self-disclosure was positively associated with relationship satisfaction. Further results and implications are discussed