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Who Influences Us More: Parents or Our Siblings?

Siblings might have more influence over a person's behavior than his or her parents, at least in informal settings. Although children are more likely to mimic their parents' behavior in more adult settings, such as a formal dinner, they look to their siblings for how to act in everyday situations. Children who have a good relationship with their siblings might be more likely to avoid antisocial behaviors.

More facts about sibling relationships:

  • If pressed, parents tend to allocate resources to siblings according to how they see their children's strengths. For example, people who attend college are about 50 percent likely to have a sibling who doesn't attend college. This is particularly true for those from lower-resource families.

  • Children from smaller families are more likely to share their parents' values. As the family gets larger and there are more competing influences for the children's attention, they become more likely to grow further away from their parents' way of life.

  • People tend to spend about one-third of their free time with their siblings.

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