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To the Graduate Council:

I am submitting herewith a dissertation written by Mandy Morrill-Richards


entitled "The Influence of Sibling Abuse on Interpersonal Relationships and Self-Esteem
in College Students." I have examined the final copy of this dissertation for form and
content and recommend that it be accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for
the degree of Doctor of Education with a major in Counseling.
We have read this dissertation and
recommend its acceptance:
Sharon Home, Ph.D.
A\!LHJLA
Stephen L&ierer, Ph.D.
Accepted for the Council:
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Siten D. Weddle-West, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Graduate Programs
THE INFLUENCE OF SIBLING ABUSE ON INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
AND SELF-ESTEEM IN COLLEGE STUDENTS
A Dissertation
Presented for the
Doctor of Education
Degree
The University of Memphis
Mandy Meggens Morrill-Richards
May 2009
UMI Number: 3370276
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DEDICATION
To Dr. Michael Stausing for his counsel, encouragement, and direction
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
My sincere thanks to my friends and family who helped me through this
dissertation process with their endless belief in me. In particular, I would like to thank
Jenny, Jamie, Linden, and Melissa for listening to me and encouraging me when I needed
it the most. Of course, special thanks go to Dave, whose support enabled me to complete
this project.
Additionally, I would like to thank Dr. Nancy Nishimura for her supervision
guidance and patience. I would also like to acknowledge the members of my dissertation
committee, Dr. Sharon Home, Dr. Stephen Leierer, and Dr. Ronnie Priest, who
encouraged this research and believed in the importance of the project.
m
ABSTRACT
Morrill-Richards, Mandy M. Ed.D. The University of Memphis. May 2009. The
Influence of Sibling Abuse on Interpersonal Relationships and Self-Esteem in College
Students. Major Professor: Nancy J. Nishimura, Ed.D.
Empirical research on sibling abuse has been overwhelmingly absent from the
professional literature. This exploratory study used a survey instrument to investigate the
question of whether the experience of sibling abuse as a child influences level of self-
esteem and interpersonal competencies of college students. Multiple regression analyses
indicate that experience with psychological or physical sibling abuse as a child does have
a negative and significant influence on self-esteem and interpersonal competencies in
college students. Specific results related to survivors and perpetrators are discussed in
relation to self-esteem and the five spheres of interpersonal competency. Limitations as
well as implications of these findings on counselor education, college counselors, and
future research are discussed.
IV
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER PAGE
1. OVERVIEW 1
Importance for College Student Population 2
Defining Terminology 3
Sibling Relationships 3
Sibling Abuse 4
Psychological Sibling Abuse 4
Physical Sibling Abuse 5
Sexual Sibling Abuse 6
Self-Esteem and Interpersonal Competency 6
Primary Goal and Hypothesis 7
2. REVIEW OF LITERATURE 10
Sibling Abuse and College Students 10
Sibling Relationships 14
Prevalence 15
Factors Contributing to Sibling Abuse 18
Types of Sibling Abuse 20
Psychological Sibling Abuse 20
Physical Sibling Abuse 21
Sexual Sibling Abuse 22
3. METHODS 25
Descriptive Information of Participants 25
Procedure 27
Instrumentation 28
Analysis 30
4. RESULTS 31
Preliminary Analysis 31
Analysis Hypothesis 1 33
Analysis Hypothesis 2 37
Initiating Relationships 37
Provide Emotional Support 41
v
CHAPTER PAGE
Asserting Influence 45
Self-Disclosure 49
Conflict Resolution 53
Summary of Results 57
5. DISCUSSION 60
Implications of Results 60
Hypothesis 1 60
Hypothesis 2 61
Limitations 62
Implications for Counselor Education 65
Implications for College Counselors 66
Research 69
General Considerations 69
Research Related to Gender 71
Research Related to Multicultural Issues 72
Research Related to Prevention 73
REFERENCES 75
APPENDICES
A. Regression Tables 85
Table 1: Experience with Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Self-Esteem 85
Table 2: Perpetrating Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Self-Esteem 86
Table 3: Surviving Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of Self-Esteem 87
Table 4: Experience with Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Initiating Relationships 88
Table 5: Perpetrating Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of Initiating
Relationships 89
Table 6: Surviving Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of Initiating
Relationships 90
Table 7: Experience with Sibling Abuse a Predictor of
Providing Emotional Support 91
Table 8: Perpetrating Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Providing Emotional Support 92
Table 9: Surviving Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of Providing
Emotional Support 93
VI
Table 10: Experience with Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Asserting Influence 94
Table 11: Perpetrating Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Asserting Influence 95
Table 12: Surviving Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Asserting Influence 96
Table 13: Experience with Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Self-Disclosure 97
Table 14: Perpetrating Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Self-Disclosure 98
Table 15: Surviving Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Self-Disclosure 99
Table 16: Experience with Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Conflict Resolution 100
Table 17: Perpetrating Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Conflict Resolution 101
Table 18: Surviving Sibling Abuse as a Predictor of
Conflict Resolution 102
B. Informed Consent 103
C. Survey Instrument 105
D. IRB Approval 111
vn
CHAPTER 1: OVERVIEW
Throughout history, abuse within the family was considered a private matter to
remain within the confines of the home (Kiselica & Morrill-Richards, 2007; Phillips-
Green, 2002). During the 1970s, the feminist movement helped break through the walls
of privacy that were protecting family violence and brought awareness of the issue into
mainstream America (Ammerman & Hersen, 1991). Since that time, there have been
tremendous advances in the study of family violence; for example, today childhood abuse
is recognized by professionals as a significant and widespread problem with
consequences lasting into adulthood (Adler & Schutz, 1995; Finkelhor, Hotaling, Lewis
& Smith, 1990; Wiehe, 1990). Despite these advances, research related to intra-familial
violence conducted by social science researchers over the past three decades has largely
ignored the experience of sibling abuse (Ammerman & Hersen, 1991; Kiselica & Morrill-
Richards, 2007; Phillips-Green, 2002).
The few studies that have been conducted over the past thirty years suggest
sibling abuse is endemic and can result in devastating consequences long into adulthood.
Straus, Gelles and Steinmetz (1980) found that as many as 40 % of American children
engage in physical aggression against siblings and as many as 85 % engage in verbal
aggression against siblings on a regular basis. Wiehe (1998) estimated that as many as 53
out of every 100 children are perpetrators of sibling abuse. Goodwin and Roscoe (1990)
used the Conflict Tactics Scale (Straus, 1979) to measure the frequency of abuse in
families among 272 high school students, and they found that 60 % of the participants
reported being either a victim or perpetrator of sibling abuse. Straus and Gelles (1990)
1
conducted a national survey of 8,145 families with a final report reflecting that 80 % of
children age 3 - 1 7 commit some form of violence against a sibling. Data regarding
homicide in the United States indicates that siblings perpetrated 6.1% of all murders
committed by family members in 2002 (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2004).
One reason for the widespread occurrence of sibling abuse is that sibling
relationships are unique in their longevity and are one of the most influential
relationships in one's life. In spite of this reality, the significance of sibling relationships
is typically minimized by family members and American society (Caffaro & Conn-
Caffaro, 1998; Newman, 1994). Even with little research, there is data suggesting sibling
abuse is common and has consequences lasting into adulthood (Garey, 1999; Simonelli,
Mullis, Elliott, & Pierce, 2002). Studies conducted on sibling abuse have found that, as
children transition into adulthood, both survivors and perpetrators of sibling abuse are at
higher risk of developmental delays, depression, hopelessness, drug abuse, low self-
esteem, isolation and dating violence than those who have not survived or perpetrated
sibling abuse (Johnston & Freeman, 1989; Phillips-Green, 2002; Snyder, Bank, &
Burraston, 2005).
Importance for College Student Population
University counseling centers serve as the primary source of psychological care
for students in college. The quick change of pace in the college and university settings
demands quick adaptation. This rapid change often creates a situation in which both
sibling abuse survivors and perpetrators, suffering with psychological issues related to
sense of well-being, live in a constant state of crisis. This population is at high risk of
2
living in crisis because there have been failed attempts to resolve issues related to the
sibling abuse, which, in turn, creates dissonance between achievement of the basic
developmental tasks of college (separating from home, finding sense of self, connecting
with peers) and lack of trust, weak ego strength, and little sense of autonomy (Grayson,
1989). Many of these students present at college psychological counseling centers
without ever being assessed for sibling maltreatment. This phenomenon is primarily a
result of lack of knowledge regarding long-term mental health consequences related to
sibling abuse, lack of awareness of the prevalence of sibling abuse, and the reality that
there is no current assessment tool for measuring the experience of sibling abuse
(Simonelli et al., 2002). Without identification of sibling abuse, many students seeking
therapeutic help at college counseling centers do not receive the clinical intervention they
need.
Defining Terminology
Sibling Relationships
Sibling relationships may be comprised of biological siblings (sharing the same
biological parents), half siblings (sharing one parent), step-siblings (related through
marriage of parents), adoptive siblings, foster siblings (related through a shared home) or
fictive siblings (may not be biologically related, but are considered siblings). The sibling
relationship itself consists of "all interactions, verbal and nonverbal, of two or more
individuals who are members of the same sibling subsystem and who have parents in
common" (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998, p.75). Given the commonality and
accessibility sibling relationships offer, it seems obvious that abusive sibling
3
relationships would not only be widespread, but also would be destructive in nature. In
order to conceptualize abusive interactions among siblings, it is necessary to define
sibling abuse in general, as well as each of the three sibling abuse categories.
Sibling Abuse
There are three components to consider when defining sibling abuse: perception,
intent, and severity (Wiehe, 1997, 2000). Perception refers to how each sibling frames
the interaction. For example, if one sibling involved in the sibling dyad views the
behavior as abusive, regardless of his or her role as survivor or perpetrator, a dynamic
beyond the scope of 'normal' sibling rivalry is likely present. The second facet, intent,
refers to what a sibling hoped to accomplish through an action or behavior. When sibling
abuse is present, the intent of the perpetrating brother or sister is primarily to cause harm
rather than to gain access to limited family resources such as space, time and affection, as
is normally the case in healthy rivalry. Severity is related to the duration and intensity of
the sibling behavior. As severity increases there is greater probability that the sibling
relationship is abusive (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998; Wiehe, 2000). Perception, intent,
and severity exist within three primary categories of sibling abuse: psychological,
physical, and sexual.
Psychological sibling abuse. Psychological abuse is the most difficult category of
abuse to define in the sibling relationship. This form of abuse between siblings is
typically not recognized by parents and is often dismissed as normal sibling rivalry
(Wiehe, 1997). Whipple and Finton (1995) describe psychological abuse as distinct from
"normal" behavior based on consistency and intensity. Examples would include words
4
and actions expressing degradation and contempt that have an impact on the sense of
well-being (insecurity, lack of self-esteem) of a sibling, such as daily harassing
statements like 'no one in this family cares about you and we would all be happier if you
were dead,' and, 'if you don't do my chores this week I am going to hurt your pet mouse'
(Whipple & Finton, 1995; Wiehe, 1997). Wiehe (2000) studied 150 adult survivors of
sibling abuse, in which 78 % of the participants had experienced psychological abuse,
which included belittling, intimidation, provocation, destroying possessions, and torturing
and killing pets.
Physical sibling abuse. Physical abuse by a sibling is defined as one member of a
sibling pair deliberately causing physical harm to the other sibling (Wiehe, 1997). In the
case of sibling abuse, the intent is to hurt the other sibling for no other motive than to
cause physical pain, which often allows the perpetrating sibling to obtain a sense of
power in the sibling dyad. Sibling physical abuse is not inclusive of isolated incidents or
one time events of mild physical aggression acted out to obtain access to limited family
resources. Physical sibling abuse must include the intent to harm for the sake of injury,
the perception by one or more siblings that the action is abusive in nature, and the
severity of a repeated pattern of behavior rather than an isolated incident (Wiehe, 2000).
The harm may be inflicted by shoving, hitting, slapping, kicking, biting, pinching,
scratching and hair pulling (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998; Wiehe, 2000). More severe
forms of physical abuse by siblings include the use of coat hangers, hairbrushes, belts,
sticks, knives, guns and rifles, broken glass, razor blades and scissors to inflict injury and
pain (Wiehe, 2000).
5
Sexual sibling abuse. Sexual abuse among siblings occurs more frequently than
any other form of sexual abuse (Rudd & Herzberger, 1999; Wiehe, 1998). Sibling incest
is defined as sexual behavior between siblings that is not age appropriate, not transitory
and not motivated by developmentally appropriate curiosity (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro,
1998). Some examples of this behavior include inappropriate fondling, touching, sexual
contact, indecent exposure, exposure to pornography, oral sex, anal sex, digital
penetration and intercourse (Phillips-Green, 2002; Whelan, 2003; Wiehe, 1990).
Self-Esteem and Interpersonal Competency
Being able to adapt and cope with the new experiences and life transitions college
life offers is an important piece in maintaining psychological health. Studies conducted
by Liem and Boudewyn (1999) and Cooper, Rowland, and Esper (2002) indicate self-
esteem and interpersonal competency were two of the most crucial well-being constructs
in the health of college students. The studies also found a relationship between higher
levels of abuse and stress in the family of origin and lower levels of self-esteem and
interpersonal satisfaction in college students (Cooper et al., 2002; Liem & Boudewyn,
1999).
Self-esteem is the evaluative component of the self and refers to the worth,
approval, and favorable attitude one holds for oneself (Blascovich & Tomaka, 1991;
Rosenberg, 1965). When attempting to foster self-esteem, it is critical that the home
environment is affirmative. Creating a positive atmosphere is extremely difficult when
parents disregard abusive sibling interactions and abused siblings are left feeling isolated,
scared, and rejected by family members (Renzaglia, Karvonen, Drasgow, & Stoxen,
6
2003; Rudd & Herzberger, 1999; Sands & Wehmeyer, 1996; Wiehe, 1998). How
families support or discourage self-esteem has a lasting impact on children (Rudd &
Herzberger, 1999; Wiehe 2000). Experiencing a home environment that supports the
constructs essential to developing positive self-esteem provides children with the ability
to persevere to reach an ultimate goal, which is extremely important when trying to
succeed in college life. It is not surprising that children with high self-esteem tend to be
intrinsically motivated, confident, and have positive achievement throughout life
(Eisenman & Chamberlin, 2001; Renzaglia et al., 2003).
Interpersonal competence includes the ability to disclose, be assertive, be
supportive, and manage interpersonal conflict. Achieving interpersonal competency
allows for the development of supportive social structures needed to cope with the stress
and chaos accompanying college life (Liem & Boudewyn, 1999; Rosenberg, 1965). As
an adult, a sense of satisfaction with interpersonal relationships increases the chances that
psychological and supportive resources available will be utilized and/or new resources
needed to handle stressors in life will be sought out. Satisfaction with interpersonal
relationships often leads to an improved sense of coherence, which has a moderating
effect on decision making and allows an adult to navigate stressful life events with
perseverance (Lustig & Strauser, 2002; Renzaglia et al., 2003).
Primary Goal and Hypothesis
The primary goal of this study is to better understand how experiencing abusive
sibling relationships as a child impacts interpersonal competencies and self-esteem in the
college student population. The research in this study addresses the gap related
7
specifically to the influence sibling abuse has on these specific constructs of
psychological well-being in college students. In order to bring attention to and cultivate
knowledge regarding consequences of sibling abuse for college students' well-being, this
study proposes two hypotheses. The research hypotheses are as follows:
1. Experiencing sibling abuse as a child inversely impacts level of self-esteem in
college students.
2. Experiencing sibling abuse as a child inversely impacts interpersonal
relationship competency in college students.
Each of the above hypotheses addresses a specific aspect of the gap in research on sibling
abuse and college students.
This study explores the relationship between sibling abuse and the specific well-
being constructs of self-esteem and competency with interpersonal relationships for
college students. The study design is an exploratory survey based on an altered version
of the Conflict Tactics Scale (Straus, 1979), the Rosenberg Self>Esteem Scale
(Rosenberg, 1965), and the Interpersonal Competence Questionnaire (Buhrmester,
Furman, Witteberg, & Reis, 1988). The survey is self-report and divided into three
sections each of which is in a Likert scale format. The first section consists of 36
questions measuring recollection of presence and severity of sibling abuse based on an
altered version of the Conflict Tactics Scale (Straus, 1979). The second section contains
the 10 question format of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965) to measure
global self-esteem. The third section is comprised of the 40 question Interpersonal
8
Competence Questionnaire (Buhrmester et al., 1988) to measure interpersonal
satisfaction and functioning.
Perhaps the main barrier to understanding sibling abuse is an absence of current
empirical research. While virtually every other type of research connected to family
violence has received steady funding since the early 1980's, funding for the study of
sibling abuse has sharply decreased during the same time period (Haskins, 2003). The
paucity of current research that addresses the complexity and unique circumstances
surrounding sibling abuse and the consequences that linger into adulthood is a source of
concern (Ammerman & Hersen, 1991; Phillips-Green, 2002). This study marks an effort
to promote and expand much needed critical research on this topic.
9
CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Understanding the consequences of sibling abuse as they relate to the well-being
of college students is complex. In order to engage in a thorough exploration of the issue,
this review will begin by addressing the unique impact of sibling abuse on the college
student population in relation to the specific well-being constructs of interpersonal
relationships and self-esteem, underscoring the importance of this study in filling a
particular gap in the literature. The review will continue with an examination of the
literature outlining the importance of sibling relationships followed by an evaluation of
prevalence studies, factors contributing to sibling abuse, and an outline of the three
primary forms of sibling abuse: physical, psychological, and sexual.
Sibling Abuse and College Students
As sibling abuse is frequently dismissed by families and communities, this form
of maltreatment tends to last over a long period of time and is often accompanied with
devastating long-term consequences. Most students entering college are in a state of
transition from dependency on family to establishing independence; however, those
living with a history of sibling abuse may begin to experience deep psychopathological
problems that begin to surface during this period (Grayson, 1989). By the time a child
who has experienced sibling abuse and not received appropriate clinical treatment
reaches college, he or she is likely to live with other forms of interpersonal problems,
depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and a variety of other mental health concerns
(Snyder et al., 2005). It is important to remember that while students are in college,
university counseling centers serve as the primary source of psychological care. A
10
student may be enrolled in an academic program for as little as two years to well over ten
years, during which time the student is not likely to seek support for psychological well-
being outside of the campus community (Arnstein, 1989).
The developmental consequences for students with a history of sibling abuse are
tremendous. Because of the unique longevity of sibling abuse, there usually exists a
disruption of developmental stages of life (Rudd & Herzberger, 1999; Wiehe, 1990).
During the time of abuse, energy normally used for developmental tasks is used instead
for survival. Seemingly normal developmental strains such as homesickness, relationship
concerns, and academics frequently mask the trauma that has been aggravated by college
life (Gipple, Lee, & Puig, 2006; Grayson, 1989). Results of this developmental
disruption which often surface during college related specifically to interpersonal
relationships and self-esteem include premature sexualization, difficulty with peer
relationships, confusion about sexuality, aggression, and a distorted sense of self in
relation to others (Snyder et al., 2005).
Several studies support the notion that self-esteem and interpersonal competency
are constructs of well-being most closely associated with the quality of the sibling
relationship. Raver and Volling (2007) surveyed 200 adults between the ages of 18 and
25 and found a significant correlation between family experiences; in particular positive
sibling interactions and the ability to engage in healthy romantic relationship functioning
as an adult. In a study conducted by Cutting and Dunn (2006) the sibling relationship
was found to be more influential in the long-term development of interpersonal
competencies than were parental interactions, language development, or socio-economic
11
status. Using a convenience sample of 98 college students, Daniel (1999) found a strong,
positive correlation between how one believed a sibling perceived him or her and the
development of self-esteem as an adult. Caya and Liem (1998) administered a survey to
194 university students between the ages of 16 and 55 to study how the sibling
relationship is used as a buffer from parental conflict. The results indicated the sibling
relationship has a strong enough impact on the development of self-esteem that a positive
sibling relationship can promote the development of positive self-esteem in the face of
severe conflict outside of the sibling relationship (Caya & Liem, 1998). While these
studies highlight the importance of focusing attention on the specific constructs of self-
esteem and interpersonal competencies when studying sibling relationships, none of the
above research addresses how abusive sibling relationships may interfere with the
development of positive self-esteem and interpersonal competencies.
Having a history of sibling abuse may result in an altered risk appraisal process in
which students have difficulty identifying potentially harmful outcomes (Combs-Lane &
Smith, 2002). Typically, this mindset disallows recognition of threats and inhibits one's
ability to respond in a protective manner. As a result, these students are likely to engage
in at-risk behaviors which affect self-esteem and interpersonal relationships as they enter
adulthood (Graham-Bermann, Cutler, Litzenberger & Schwartz, 1994; Finkelhor &
Browne, 1985). The most common at-risk behaviors for college students who have
survived sibling abuse include engaging in unprotected sex, distortion of the line between
pleasure and pain in sexual relationships, and confusion about sexuality ranging from
extreme frigidity to extreme promiscuity (Combs-Lane & Smith, 2002).
12
Liem and Boudewyn (1999) used attachment theory as a base to study their
hypothesis that experience with multiple forms of abuse in childhood directly relates to
adult problems with self-esteem and social functioning. In the study, a secondary
analysis of data collected from surveys given to 687 college students between 1990 and
1992 was conducted. Results indicated abuse as a child enforces a working model of the
self as an adult as unworthy and incompetent of healthy relationships while at the same
time others are viewed as rejecting and unreliable. Additionally, those with multiple
abuse experiences as a child had lower levels of self-esteem in college. The authors
suggest expectations of relationships and the self across time are carried from relationship
experience with one's closest peer. While Liem and Boudewyn (1999) do not address
siblings specifically, given that siblings often represent the closest peer during childhood,
the results support the likelihood that sibling abuse has a tremendous, and perhaps
unmatched, influence on interpersonal relationships and self-esteem for college students.
Similarly, Cooper, et al. (2002) investigated how abusive or stressful family of
origin experiences influence psychological resources, level of interpersonal functioning,
and an ability to form a strong therapeutic alliance with the therapist. Researchers
administered the Family Experiences Scale (Alexander, Benjamin, Lerer, & Baron,
1995), the Childhood Sexual Abuse Questionnaire (Rowland, Zabin, & Emerson, 2001),
and the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (American Psychiatric
Association, 1994) to 45 college students seeking treatment at a university counseling
center. The authors found students with abusive or stressful family of origin experiences
had a lower level of interpersonal functioning and difficulty forming an alliance with the
13
therapist. The results led the authors to conclude family of origin experiences offer
education on regulation and development of interpersonal skills to be used as an adult.
Many of the above studies demonstrate the connection between an abusive family
of origin experience and interpersonal and self-esteem challenges during college.
Unfortunately, the research continues to focus primarily on adult to child or parent to
child abusive encounters, ignoring the implications and unique severity of sibling abuse.
While some of the research discussed above indicates a more liberal extension of abuse in
the family to include the entire family of origin, there continues to be a vacuum in
discussion and exploration of the sibling abuse experience in particular. The author
intends to address the missing piece in the literature through a specific exploration of
sibling abuse in relation to interpersonal relationship challenges and low self-esteem in
college students.
Sibling Relationships
Sibling relationships are ubiquitous. Caffaro and Conn-Caffaro (1998) found that
83% of the 395 adults interviewed in their study were raised with at least one sibling in
the family. Adults typically have more siblings than children, and, compared to the past,
a greater percentage of current adults do not marry or marry at a later age. These findings
indicate that the sibling relationship is unique in its longevity and can be one of the most
influential relationships in one's life. Therefore, the influence siblings have on one
another should not be minimized (Felson, 1983; Newman, 1994).
The relationships siblings have with each other is unique from any other
emotional connection between people and is one of the most powerful forces in social
14
development (Row & Gulley, 1992; Snyder, Bank & Burraston, 2005). Snyder et al.
(2005) surveyed 155 college students and found a strong relationship between sibling
interactions and sense of well-being. Johnston and Freeman (1989) discovered that, over
time, sibling relationships that are positive have a beneficial effect on siblings and those
that are negative have an adverse impact on siblings. When siblings are positive toward
each other, a supportive environment exists in which healthy development is likely to
occur. Negative sibling relationships, by comparison, are characterized by fear, shame,
and hopelessness. A sibling relationship in which abusive interaction exists can lead to
devastating and long-lasting consequences, such as the normalization of coercive and
aggressive interpersonal behavior (Phillips-Green, 2002; Snyder et al., 2005).
Prevalence
Studies conducted over the past 30 years suggest sibling abuse is endemic, and
can result in devastating consequences long into adulthood. One of the pioneers in the
study of sibling violence is Suzanne Steinmetz who conducted the first major study on
sibling abuse in 1977. Steinmetz (1977) interviewed 57 families selected at random and
asked parents to monitor frequency of violent interactions among their children over the
course of one week. Analysis of the data collected found that in 49 families, 131 severe
sibling conflicts occurred. In her follow up study, Steinmetz (1978) interviewed 57
families and 88 pairs of siblings. Results supported the excessive nature of sibling abuse
found in her previous study, with 70% of families identifying use of physical violence
between siblings to resolve conflict, and 63% of the reported physical sibling abuse
incidents considered severe.
15
Straus, Gelles, and Steinmetz (1980) conducted an extensive national survey with
2,143 families. Results of the study indicated 53 out of every 100 American children
engage in severe physical aggression against siblings and as many as 85% engage in
verbal aggression against siblings on a regular basis. Additionally, this study estimated
that nearly 1.5 million children had been threatened by a sibling with a gun or knife at
least once. Straus and Gelles (1990) built on the findings of their previous study and
conducted the most definitive study of family violence in the United States in the early
1990's. Self-report surveys were distributed to 8,145 families throughout the country
with a final report demonstrating that 80% of children age 3-17 commit some form of
violence against a sibling. A more detailed analysis of the results show 53% of siblings
admitted to committing severe acts of violence against a sibling such as punching,
kicking, stabbing, and attacking with objects.
During the 1990s, Vernon Wiehe emerged as a leader in the study of sibling
abuse. Wiehe (1998) administered an anonymous questionnaire on the subject of sibling
relationships to 150 adults with the hope of gaining a descriptive picture of sibling abuse.
The results were shocking, as 67% of subjects reported being sexually abused by a
sibling during childhood, 3% reported surviving both physical and sexual sibling abuse,
11% reported surviving both emotional and sexual sibling abuse, and 37% reported
surviving physical, emotional, and sexual abuse from a sibling. Wiehe (1998) used this
study to estimate that as many as 53 out of every 100 children are perpetrators of sibling
abuse.
16
Other studies have also been conducted to investigate the prevalence of sibling
abuse. Goodwin and Roscoe (1990) used the Conflict Tactics Scale (Straus, 1979) to
measure the frequency of abuse in families as reported by 272 high school students.
They found 60% of the participants reported being either a survivor or perpetrator of
sibling abuse. Graham-Bermann, et al. (1994) interviewed 1,450 college students of
which 786 reported having an aggressive sibling interaction as a child and 20% reported
perceiving their sibling relationship as more violent than sibling relationships in other
families. A study on peer bullying conducted by Duncan (1999) found 22% of children
in the sample were hit by a sibling and 8% were beaten by a sibling. Simonelli, et al.
(2002) interviewed 120 college students to gain insight into sibling relationships. Their
results found approximately 66% of the students had experienced physical violence from
a sibling and 3.4% reported being threatened with a gun or knife.
There is no doubt each of these studies served well to underscore the fact that
sibling maltreatment is the most common form of interpersonal abuse in the United States
and is vastly understudied (Kiselica & Morrill-Richards, 2007; Straus & Gelles, 1990;
Wiehe, 2000). In spite of advances made in family violence research offered by these
studies, a gap remains consistent across sibling abuse research. Each study mentioned
above focuses on the existence of sibling abuse and/or immediate consequences of that
experience for children. The current study will attempt to build on this literature and
examine some of the long-term consequences related to well-being in college students,
with specific focus on the well-being variables of self-esteem and interpersonal relational
functioning.
17
Factors Contributing to Sibling Abuse
The studies mentioned above highlight the immense problem of sibling abuse;
however, when studying sibling abuse it is necessary not only to acknowledge the
prevalence of this type of abuse, but also consider why this type of abuse occurs.
Some researchers have suggested that maladaptive parental behavior and dysfunctional
family structures play key roles in the origin of sibling abuse (Bank & Kahn, 1982;
Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998; Wiehe, 2000). Parental treatment has an impact on the
sibling relationship. When the family structure supports power imbalances, rigid gender
roles, differential treatment of siblings, and lack of parental supervision, there is an
increased risk for sibling abuse (Bank & Kahn, 1982; Leder, 1993).
Bank and Kahn (1982) argued that ineffective parenting is a core factor in the
development of sibling abuse. In their article, the authors cite conflict-avoidant parents
and conflict-amplifying parents as primary obstacles in the healthy development of
conflict resolution and problem solving among siblings. In both types of parenting,
sibling conflict is minimized or ignored completely. In conflict-avoidant cases, the
boundary between child and parent is often blurred, allowing an aggressive sibling to
hold a tremendous amount of power over other family members. In conflict-amplifying
cases, parents encourage sibling conflict (whether consciously or not) as a means of
conflict resolution.
In a study conducted by Wiehe (1997), parents were asked for reactions to and
perceptions of interactions between siblings. The prevalence of abusive sibling behavior
observed by parents was high, though it was rare for parents to acknowledge this
18
behavior as abusive. The normalization of abuse by parents was found to be a key factor
in the severity and frequency of abuse between siblings. When parents are unable to
make the distinction between normal sibling rivalry and sibling abuse, it can lead to other
risk factors, such as the inappropriate expression of anger from one sibling to another
(Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998). Parents may encourage this behavior as a form of
release or ventilation of anger, which usually promotes aggression rather than easing
hostility in the child (Feshbach, 1964; Wiehe, 2000). Several studies have found a link
between child abuse and the delinquent behavior of siblings. It has been shown that an
abused child may inflict abuse on a sibling because he or she is modeling the actions of
his or her parents (Freeman, 1993; Glaser, 1986; Wiehe, 1998).
The normalization of sibling abuse by the family structure and society creates a
layer of shame and complication that can have devastating results for both the victim and
perpetrator. Unlike the studies mentioned above, this study will attempt to capture the
influence minimization of sibling abuse and lack of parental support have on a child as he
or she encounters the developmentally challenging time of college. This study will use
reports of the actual sibling members rather than using reports of family members, which
was the primary means of gaining knowledge of sibling relationships in the above-
mentioned studies.
Types of Sibling Abuse
Sibling abuse is extremely complicated and not easily defined. It is difficult to
determine where normal developmental behavior among siblings ends and abuse begins
19
(Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998; Wiehe, 2000). Many factors, such as the severity and
intent of an act by one sibling and the emotional impact of that act on another sibling,
must be considered when determining if an interaction is abusive. Normal sibling
conflict usually consists of a mutual disagreement over resources in the family (i.e.,
parental attention), while sibling maltreatment consists of one sibling taking on the role
of aggressor over another sibling. Like other forms of abuse, sibling abuse has three
main categories, psychological, physical and sexual (Johnston & Freeman, 1989).
Psychological Sibling Abuse
Psychological sibling abuse is, perhaps, the most challenging category to define.
This form of abuse is often dismissed as normal sibling rivalry by parental figures,
teachers, caseworkers and other adults in a position to observe the way in which siblings
interact (Wiehe, 1997). As stated previously, the two most important elements in
distinguishing psychological sibling abuse from normal rivalry are consistency and
intensity (Whipple & Finton, 1995). Psychological sibling abuse includes behaviors
engaged in for the purpose of promoting humiliation and contempt, and has an impact on
the sense of well-being (interpersonal struggle, lack of self-esteem) of a sibling (Whipple
& Finton, 1995; Wiehe, 1997).
Psychological sibling abuse can have serious long-term consequences if the abuse
is minimized and needed intervention is not sought (Garey, 1999). It is important to take
reports of psychological abuse seriously and observe the behavior of siblings. Survivors
of psychological sibling abuse who have not received treatment often internalize the
abusive messages received. Children who experience psychological maltreatment from a
20
sibling may act out by crying or screaming, or hide in an attempt to isolate themselves
from the abuser (Wiehe, 1998). It has been shown that there is a connection between
experiencing psychological abuse as a child and developing habit disorders, conduct
disorders, neurotic traits, psychoneurotic reactions, lags in development, and attempted
suicide (Ammerman & Hersen, 1991). In addition, both the survivors and perpetrators of
emotional sibling abuse tend to have significantly lower levels of self-esteem as adults
than do non-victims (Garey, 1999).
As psychological abuse describes a broad category of behavior, this study will
focus on two primary subgroups, emotional abuse and verbal abuse, in order to gain a
more comprehensive sense of the specific type of psychological maltreatment that has
occurred. Emotional abuse includes neglect of siblings, purposefully exposing a sibling
to danger, rejecting, exploiting, and intentional destruction of a sibling's personal
property (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998; Whipple & Finton, 1995). Verbal abuse
involves the use of specific remarks to inflict ridicule, insult, threaten, terrorize, or
belittle a sibling (Cafaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998; Wiehe, 1997).
Physical Sibling Abuse
Physical abuse among brothers and sisters is the most common form of intimate
violence in the United States (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998; Duncan, 1999; Kiselica &
Morrill-Richards, 2007; Straus & Gelles, 1990; Wiehe, 1990). Simonelli, Mullis, Elliott,
and Pierce (2002) found that approximately two thirds of 120 college students
experienced physical violence from a sibling, and 3.4 % reported being threatened by a
sibling with a gun or a knife. The results of a national survey of family violence indicate
21
that 80 % of children between the ages of 3 and 17 had hit a brother or a sister, and more
than half have engaged in severe acts of violence, such as punching, kicking, stabbing or
hitting with an object (Straus & Gelles, 1990).
Sibling violence among brothers and sisters usually declines with age, which may
lead parents to dismiss the acts and minimize the impact of the aggressive exchanges on
the siblings. There are strong indications that the abused child will experience violence
later in life if there is no intervention (Goodwin & Roscoe, 1990; Steinmetz, 1981). In
particular, there is a strong association between sibling abuse and subsequent experiences
of violence within dating relationships (Simonelli et al., 2002).
Sexual Sibling Abuse
There are two primary types of sibling sexual abuse. The first type involves
siblings who seek or need a sense of nurturance and safety and attempt to fill this need
physically with a brother or sister. Siblings engaging in this type of sexual abuse are
often living in a home in which other abusive family issues exist (Phillips-Green, 2002;
Whelan, 2003). The second type occurs when one sibling uses threats or physical force
to violate another sibling. Often, one sibling will attempt to gain sexual power over
another sibling to relieve his or her own sense of powerlessness (Phillips-Green, 2002).
Compared to child sexual abuse involving adults, the impact and prevalence of
sibling incest is often underestimated by society (Rudd & Herzberger, 1999; Whelan,
2003; Wiehe, 2000). This trend may be a result of the difficulty in establishing the victim
and offender roles. Determining if coercion was a factor in the abuse may be another
obstacle when treating siblings. Another difference between adult and sibling sexual
22
abuse is that no generational boundary has been violated, which makes sexual abuse
easier to hide. An exaggerated sexual climate in the family or a rigidly repressive sexual
family environment increases the risk of sibling sexual abuse (Phillips-Green, 2002;
Snyder et al , 2005). These environments may also contain multiple offenders of sexual
abuse within the family, making detecting and dealing with sexual abuse of a sibling even
more difficult. Each offender may use denial as a means to protect himself or herself
from experiencing shame and to maintain the abuse; therefore, the likelihood of any one
member of the family reporting the incest is reduced (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998;
Phillips-Green, 2002; Whelan, 2003).
Children who experience sibling molestation exhibit a wide variety of
psychological problems. Sexual sibling abuse frequently fosters fear, anger, shame,
humiliation, and guilt. Many children who have been sexually abused by a sibling learn
to connect victimization with sex and have difficulty separating pleasure from pain and
fear from desire when they become adults (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998). Siblings
often experience collusion and have shared family and peer groups, which can serve to
reinforce a skewed vision of power in interpersonal relationships when sibling sexual
abuse exists (Snyder et al., 2005). Research addressing various types of sibling abuse has
hypothesized possible links between experience with sibling abuse as a child and long-
term consequences as an adult; however, there is currently no quantitative study
specifically investigating these proposed connections. This study will offer to fill this
gap through a quantitative and thorough investigation of the possible connection between
23
experience with sibling abuse as a child and current difficulty with self-esteem and
interpersonal relationships as a college student.
24
CHAPTER 3: METHODS
This study investigates the influencing force experience with sibling abuse has on
the specific well-being constructs of self-esteem and competence with interpersonal
relationships as it specifically relates to college students. The study design is a survey
experiment based on an altered version of the Conflict Tactics Scale (Straus, 1979), the
Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965), and the Interpersonal Competence
Questionnaire (Buhrmester, et al., 1988). The following chapter will outline specifics of
the process beginning with a detailed summary of participant information and continuing
with an explanation of procedure for data collection, the instruments used, and analysis
that were conducted.
Descriptive Information of Participants
Participants in this study consisted of both undergraduate and graduate college
students enrolled at a public urban university in the mid-south of the United States. The
sample was one of convenience in that surveys were distributed by the primary
investigator to classes across a variety of academic disciplines within the college of arts
and sciences and the college of education for which permission had been granted by the
instructor. The age of students ranged from 18-59, with a median age of 20 and a mean
age of 23. Females comprised 67.1% of the sample, men comprised 32.6% of the
sample, no students identified as transgendered, and students identifying as something
other than female, male, or transgendered comprised . 3% of the sample. Students
identifying as African American/Black represented 32.3% of the sample, students
identifying as Asian represented 1.7% of the sample, students identifying as
25
Caucasian/White represented 55.5% of the sample, students identifying as
Hispanic/Latino represented 1.7% of the sample, and students identifying as other
represented 3.9% of the sample. It is important to consider the limitations of age, gender,
and ethnic/cultural identity demonstrated with this sample.
An a priori power analysis was conducted to aid in estimation of accurate sample
size. The analysis found the minimum acceptable sample size for this study to be 205,
given an anticipated effect size of .15 a desired statistical power of .80, and an alpha of
.10. In conjunction with the power analysis, sample sizes used in related studies were
considered. Most research related to this topic had a final sample size between 85 and
650 (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998; Goodwin & Roscoe, 1990; Liem & Boudewyn,
1999; Simonelli, et al , 2002; Steinmetz, 1978; Wiehe, 1997, 2000). Therefore, after
considering both the results of power analysis and related research, a target sample size
of 300 was used in this study. It was estimated the return rate would be 75% after those
who did not respond and those who returned incomplete surveys (three or more questions
unanswered) were accounted for, leaving a final estimate of the acceptable sample size to
be 225 participants for this analysis. A 75% return rate is a conservative estimate based
on a pilot study of 141 students in which the return rate was 94%. The actual study
exceeded the minimal sample criteria with 362 surveys administered, and 27 cases
excluded for missing or incomplete data, leaving a final sample of 335 and a return rate
of 94.1%.
26
Procedure
Prior to distributing the survey to the primary participant pool for this research
project, a small pilot study was conducted with undergraduate and graduate students from
the school of education and the school of arts and sciences. The survey was given to five
undergraduate and five graduate students to test for clarity of questions and amount of
time required for completion. The ten students were asked to give anonymous feedback
regarding confusing and/or challenging questions. Additionally, the pilot group was
asked to track how many minutes it took to complete the survey. Results from the pilot
study surveys were not included in the final analysis.
After the survey was tested for clarity and time completion, the primary
investigator administered the survey packets to individual classes across the university
campus. The primary investigator reviewed informed consent and explained that this
study is voluntary and anonymous, and that participants will not be asked to report any
specific identifying information. In addition to the primary investigator explaining
informed consent verbally, participants had a detachable sheet on the front page of the
packet containing an explanation of informed consent, contact information for questions
regarding the survey, and the phone number for the psychological counseling center on
campus. Ensuring participants have information to connect to support services was
important given the topic this project is attempting to explore.
Following the explanation of informed consent, the primary investigator reviewed
the directions for completing the survey. The survey took approximately 10-15 minutes
to complete. The primary investigator did not collect surveys directly from students,
27
rather students were asked to place their surveys in a large envelope at the front of the
classroom. Students deciding not to participate were asked to turn in their blank surveys
in the envelope as well, hence allowing students greater anonymity in participation. The
primary investigator collected the envelope when each class had finished completing the
survey.
Instrumentation
This study utilizes an exploratory survey in which the first section is based on an
altered version of the original Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) (Straus, 1979). The CTS has
been well established over decades with internal reliability ranging from .79 to .95 and
stable, consistent construct validity demonstrated across hundreds of studies (Straus &
Gelles, 1990). Participants are asked to respond to each statement using a six point
Likert type rating scale. Responses to the first 36 questions, addressing prevalence and
severity of sibling abuse, can be answered in a range from never to always (0 = never, 1 =
very rarely, 2 = rarely, 3 = occasionally, 4 = very frequently, 5 = always). The following
are examples of the altered CTS questions in this section of the survey:
A sibling threatened me with a knife or gun 0 1 2 3 4 5
I threatened a sibling with a knife or gun 0 1 2 3 4 5
These questions not only measure recollection of presence and severity of sibling abuse,
but also provide information regarding the type of experience with sibling abuse, as either
the survivor or perpetrator. For ease of interpretation, the physical abuse scales were
reverse coded during the analysis (0 = 5, 1 = 4, 2 = 3, 3 = 2, 4 = 1, 5 = 0). As such, lower
scores on these scales indicate higher levels of psychological and sexual abuse, while
higher scores indicate lower levels of these types of sibling abuse.
28
The second section of the survey contains ten self-report questions from the
Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965). These questions address global self-
esteem and are in a four point Likert type rating scale ranging from strongly agree to
strongly disagree (3 = strongly agree, 2 = agree, 1 = disagree, and 0 = strongly disagree).
Reliability tests over time for the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965)
demonstrate adequate reliability, with average reliability ranging from .73 to .80 (Kaplan
& Pokormy 1969; Hagborg 1993). Over the past four decades, construct validity and
convergent validity have been consistently demonstrated in numerous studies (Gray-
Little, Williams, & Hancock, 1997; Hagborg, 1993). Additionally, this self-esteem scale
has been found to be especially reliable when used with high school and college students
(Bagley, Bolitho, & Bertrand, 1997; Goldsmith, 1986).
The third section of the survey is comprised of the Interpersonal Competencies
Questionnaire (ICQ) (Buhrmester, et al., 1988). This instrument is used to assess general
interpersonal skills. It is a self-report measure containing 40 questions and using a 6-
point Likert type rating scale ranging from "I'm poor at this" (0) to "I'm extremely good
at this" (5). The ICQ asks students to rate themselves across five interpersonal domains:
initiating relationships, personal disclosure, negative assertion, emotional support, and
managing interpersonal conflict. Reliability has been strong in the ICQ with test-retest
reliability averaging .78 and internal consistency reliability averaging .74 (Buhrmester,
1990; Herzberg, Hammen, Burge, Daley, Davila, & Lindberg, 1998; Mallinckrodt, 2000).
Convergent validity has been demonstrated through consistent high correlation with the
29
Social Reticence Scale (Jones & Russell, 1982) and the Dating and Assertiveness
Questionnaire (Levenson & Gottman, 1978).
Analysis
To explore the influencing force experience with sibling abuse has on the level of
self-esteem and interpersonal competency of college students, this project will use
simultaneous multiple regressions to study the two hypothesis proposed. To gain more
insight into how the specific experiences with sibling abuse may be influencing self-
esteem and interpersonal competencies, additional regressions were run on each
hypothesis to test how surviving and perpetrating sibling abuse impacts each.
This investigation is an exploratory study; therefore, an alpha of. 1 is an
acceptable level for significance. Allowing a more liberal significance level in this
research does not place participants in danger, but rather serves to draw attention to an
understudied area of violence. In this case reducing type II error and allowing more room
for type I error reduces the likelihood of dismissing the potentially meaningful social
phenomenon being researched (Hays, 1998; Huck, 2007). Additionally, sibling abuse
experience has been consistently underreported; thus allowing a more liberal level of
significance offsets some of the secrecy and minimization which accompanies the issue
(Phillips-Green, 2002; Simonelli et al., 2002).
30
CHAPTER 4: RESULTS
To facilitate a comprehensive understanding of the results from the study, this
chapter summarizes the statistical analyses used to explore the hypotheses outlined in the
previous three chapters. The chapter begins with a review of procedures used to conduct
a preliminary examination of the data collected in order to gain insight related to the
trustworthiness of the analysis that were conducted. Following a description of the
preliminary analysis, the results of multiple regressions conducted to assess the two
primary hypotheses are reported. Additionally, specific results found related to the
particular groups of survivor and perpetrator as well as the type of abuse experienced
(physical, psychological, and/or sexual) are reported. Finally, a summary of the results
found in the analyses are reported.
Preliminary Analysis
Prior to running multiple regressions to test the two primary research hypotheses,
diagnostic tests were run to check for potential problems with missing data, out of range
data, intercorrelation, multicollinearity and outliers. To address issues with missing data,
participants leaving more than three answers on the survey blank were removed from the
final data set. Frequencies were run on each survey question to determine if participants
had answered questions within the set range, as well as to uncover possible errors in data
entry. In total, 27 cases were excluded from the final analysis in this study because of
missing or inaccurate data, leaving a final sample size of 335.
Intercorrelation was tested by examining the reliability of each scale used in the
survey. The sibling abuse scales were developed using an altered version of the Conflict
31
Tactics Scale (Straus, 1980). The total psychological sibling abuse scale reflected a
Cronbach's alpha coefficient of .85, with the subscale of perpetrating sibling
psychological abuse reflecting a Cronbach's alpha coefficient of .705 and the subscale of
surviving sibling psychological abuse reflecting a Cronbach's alpha of .893. The total
physical sibling abuse scale reflected a Cronbach's alpha coefficient of .924, with the
subscale of perpetrating sibling physical abuse reflecting a Cronbach's alpha of .849 and
the subscale of surviving sibling physical abuse reflecting a Cronbach's alpha of .847.
The total sexual sibling abuse scale reflected a Cronbach's alpha coefficient of .593, with
the subscale of perpetrating sibling sexual abuse reflecting a Cronbach's alpha of .45, and
the subscale of surviving sibling sexual abuse reflecting a Cronbach's alpha of .425. All
three of the sibling sexual abuse scales indicate significant problems with reliability and
intercorrelation. Considerations regarding this issue are addressed in the report of results
and the discussion of limitations section of the concluding chapter.
The measure used for self-esteem was the Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale
(Rosenberg, 1965). The test for reliability of this scale reflected a Cronbach's alpha
coefficient of .85. This level of reliability corresponds to the typical reliability range for
this scale across a multitude of studies over time (Bushman & Baumeister, 2002;
Heatherton & Polivy, 1991; Robins, Hendin, & Trezesniewski, 2001).
The measure used for interpersonal competency was the 40 item Interpersonal
Competency Questionnaire (ICQ) (Buhrmester, et al., 1988) which contains five scales
used to measure different aspects of interpersonal competency. The Initiating
Relationships scale reflected a Cronbach's alpha of .903. The Providing Emotional
32
Support scale reflected a Cronbach's alpha of .865. The Asserting Influence scale
reflected a Cronbach's alpha of .860. The Self-Disclosure scale reflected a Cronbach's
alpha of .876. The Conflict Resolution scale reflected a Cronbach's alpha of .841.
Exploratory analyses for each type of sibling abuse indicated no problems with
multicollinearity (with the largest variance inflation factor among the groups being
1.872), and the assumptions of independence, normality, and heteroschedasticity were
met. Additionally, examination of the possibility of outliers and influential data points
indicated that there were no subjects who individually influenced the regression results.
Analysis Hypothesis 1
Multiple regression analysis was used to address the first research hypothesis:
Experiencing sibling abuse as a child inversely impacts the level of self esteem in college
students. The independent or predictor variables were the three general indicators of
experience with sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the CTS (Straus,
1979), which include overall experience with psychological sibling abuse, overall
experience with physical sibling abuse, and overall experience with sexual sibling abuse.
The dependent variable for this regression was the score students obtained on the
Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965).
As shown in table 1, this regression model accounted for 4.8 percent of the
variance in predicting self-esteem (F(3, 335) =5.295,/? = .001). Although the model was
significant, only two of the three sibling abuse variables were significantly related to self-
esteem. Experience with sibling psychological abuse (/?= -.279, t= 3.708,/? < .005), and
experience with sibling physical abuse (/?=.138, t= 1.832,/? = .068) were both significant
33
at the ee=.l level. Experience with sibling sexual abuse was not found to be significant in
this regression model (/?= -.060, t - -1.077, p = .282). These results suggest that any type
of experience with sibling psychological abuse or sibling physical abuse as a child
negatively influences the self-esteem of college students. Rather, the more experience
one has with these two forms of sibling abuse as a child, the less self-esteem one will
have as a college student.
Table 1 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p t
Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS PHYSICAL) .782 .427 .138 1.832*
Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSPSYCH) -1.850 .499 -.279 -3.706***
Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSSEX) -1.093 1.015 -.060 -1.077
Experience with Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling Abuse
Predicting Level of Self-Esteem in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
To further examine the first research hypothesis, two additional regression
analyses were run to explore the influence a perpetrating experience and a surviving
experience have on the level of self-esteem in college students, respectively. In the first
of these two regressions, the independent or predictor variables were three specific
indicators of perpetrating sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the CTS
(Straus, 1979), which includes perpetrating psychological sibling abuse, perpetrating
34
physical sibling abuse, and perpetrating sexual sibling abuse. The dependent variable for
this regression was the score students obtained on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale
(Rosenberg, 1965).
Table 2 shows this regression model accounted for 4.6 % of the variance in
predicting self-esteem (F(3, 335) = 5.054, p = .002). Two of the three predictor
variables were found to have a significant impact on self-esteem in the presence of the
other variables in the model. The results were as follows: perpetrating sibling
psychological abuse (/?= -.263, t = -3.545,/? < .005), perpetrating sibling physical abuse
(/? =. 131, t=\ .766, p = .078), both significant at the a=. 1 level. Perpetrating sibling
sexual abuse was not found to be significant in this regression (/? = -069, t = -1.240, p =
.216). This analysis suggests the more experience one has perpetrating sibling
psychological abuse or sibling physical abuse as a child, the more likely he or she will be
to have lower self-esteem as a college student.
Table 2 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p t
Perp Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS IPHYSICAL) .724 .410 .131 1.766*
Perp Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSJPSYCH) -1.721 .485 -.263 -3.545***
Perp Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSJSEX) -1.541 1.243 -.069 .216
35
Experience Perpetrating Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Level oj Self-Esteem in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
The second regression was run to explore the influence of surviving sibling abuse
on the self-esteem of college students. The independent or predictor variables were three
specific indicators of surviving sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the
CTS (Straus, 1979), which includes surviving psychological sibling abuse, surviving
physical sibling abuse, and surviving sexual sibling abuse. The dependent variable for
this regression was the score students obtained on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale
(Rosenberg, 1965).
As outlined in table 3, this regression model accounted for 3.2 % of the variance
in predicting self-esteem (F (3, 335) = 4.432,/? = .005). Surviving sibling psychological
abuse was the only one of the three predictor variables found to have a significant impact
on self-esteem at the C=.l level in the presence of the other variables in the model (J3= -
.252, t = -3.397,/? < .005). Surviving sibling physical abuse and surviving sibling
sexual abuse were not found to be significant in this regression, with the results as
follows: surviving sibling physical abuse (fi =. 109 t = 1.466, p = .144); surviving sibling
sexual abuse (/?= -.037, t = -.664, p = .507). This analysis suggests the more sibling
psychological abuse one survives as a child, the more likely he or she is to have a low
level of self-esteem as a college student.
36
Table 3 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB (3 /
Surv Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSSPHYSICAL) .610 .416 .109 1.466
Surv Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSSPSYCH) -1.574 .463 -.252 .3.397***
Surv Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SSEX) -.502 .756 -.037 -.664
Experience Surviving Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Level of Self-Esteem in College Students
*p<. 10 **p<. 05 ***p<. 01
Analysis Hypothesis 2
Multiple regression analysis was used to address the second research hypothesis:
Experiencing sibling abuse as a child inversely impacts interpersonal relationship
competency in college students. As the ICQ (Buhrmester, et al., 1988) uses five separate
scales to measure the primary spheres of interpersonal satisfaction and functioning,
separate regressions will be run to test the influence of sibling abuse on each of these
domains.
Initiating Relationships
The first area of interpersonal competency examined is one' s ability to initiate
relationships. The independent or predictor variables were the three general indicators of
experience with sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the CTS (Straus,
37
1979), which includes overall experience with psychological sibling abuse, overall
experience with physical sibling abuse, and overall experience with sexual sibling abuse.
The dependent variable for this regression is the average score obtained on the Initiating
Relationships scale of the ICQ (Buhrmester, et al., 1988).
Table 4 indicates this regression model accounted for 4.8 % of the variance in
predicting ability to initiate relationships (F(3, 335) =5.612,/? = .001). Although the
model was significant, only two of the three sibling abuse variables were significantly
related to ability to initiate relationships. Experience with sibling psychological abuse (/?
= -.289, t= -3.980, p <.005), and experience with sibling physical abuse (/? =.246, t -
3.379, p = .001) were both significant at the a = .1 level, in the presence of the other
variables in the model. Experience with sibling sexual abuse was not found to be
significant in this regression model (fi= .013, t = .247, p = .805). These results propose
that any type of experience with sibling psychological abuse or sibling physical abuse
negatively influences the ability of college students to initiate relationships.
Table 4 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p t
Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS_PHYSICAL) .264 .078 .246 3379***
Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSPSYCH) -.360 .090 -.289 -3.980***
Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SEX) .044 .177 .013 .247
38
Experience with Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling Abuse
Predicting Initiating Relationships in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
In order to obtain an in depth understanding of the influence sibling abuse has on
the ability to initiate relationships, two additional regression analyses were run to
investigate the influence a perpetrating experience and a surviving experience have on
this domain of interpersonal competency. In the first of these two regressions, the
independent or predictor variables were three specific indicators of perpetrating sibling
abuse as determined by the altered version of the CTS (Straus, 1979), which includes
perpetrating psychological sibling abuse, perpetrating physical sibling abuse, and
perpetrating sexual sibling abuse. The dependent variable for this regression is the score
students obtained on the Initiating Relationships scale of the ICQ (Buhrmester, et al.,
1988).
Table 5 shows this regression model accounted for 4.7 % of the variance in
predicting one's ability to initiate relationships (F (3, 335) = 5.454, p = .001). Two of the
three predictor variables were found to have a significant impact in the presence of the
other variables in the model. The results were as follows: perpetrating sibling
psychological abuse (/?= -.282, t= -3.948,/? < .005), perpetrating sibling physical abuse
(/?=.232, t = 3.241,/? < .005), both significant at the a-.l level. Perpetrating sibling
sexual abuse was not found to be significant in this regression (/?= -017, t = -316, p =
.752). This analysis suggests the more experience one has perpetrating sibling
psychological abuse and/or sibling physical abuse as a child, the more likely he or she
will be to have difficulty initiating relationships.
39
Table 5 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB (3 t
Per p Physi cal Si b Abus e
(CTSJPHYSICAL) .243 .075 .232 3.241***
Perp Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSJPSYCH) -.347 .088 -.282 -3.948***
Perp Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSISEX) -.069 .219 -.017 -.316
Experience Perpetrating Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Initiating Relationships in College Students
*p<. 10 **p<. 05 ***p<. 01
In the second of the two regressions addressing specifics related to ability to
initiate relationships, the independent or predictor variables were three specific indicators
of surviving sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the CTS (Straus, 1979),
which includes surviving psychological sibling abuse, surviving physical sibling abuse,
and surviving sexual sibling abuse. The dependent variable for this regression is the
score students obtained on the Initiating Relationships scale of the ICQ (Buhrmester,
Furman, Wittenberg & Reis, 1988).
As outlined in table 6, the regression model accounted for 4.2 % of the variance
in predicting one' s ability to initiate relationships (F (3, 335) = 4.852,/? = .003). Two of
the three predictor variables were found to have a significant impact in the presence of
the other variables in the model. The results were as follows: surviving sibling
40
psychological abuse (/?= -.259, / = -3.618,/? < .005); surviving sibling physical abuse
(/? =.225, t = 3.144, p < .005), both significant at the a=.l level. Surviving sibling
sexual abuse was not found to be significant in this regression (ft =.037, t = .683, p =
.495). This analysis suggests the more experience one has surviving sibling
psychological abuse and sibling physical abuse as a child, the more likely he or she will
be to have difficulty initiating relationships.
Table 6 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p /
Surv Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSSPHYSICAL) .239 .076 .225 3.144***
Surv Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS_SPSYCH) -.305 .084 -.249 -3.618***
Surv Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SSEX) .089 .130 .037 .683
Experience Surviving Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Initiating Relationships in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
Provide Emotional Support
The second sphere of interpersonal competency studied involves the ability to
provide emotional support. The independent or predictor variables were the three general
indicators of experience with sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the
CTS (Straus, 1979), which includes overall experience with psychological sibling abuse,
41
overall experience with physical sibling abuse, and overall experience with sexual sibling
abuse. The dependent variable for this regression is the average score obtained on the
Providing Emotional Support scale of the ICQ (Buhrmester, et al., 1988).
Table 7 indicates this regression model accounted for 9.4 % of the variance in
predicting ability to provide emotional support (F (3,335) =11.483, p - .000). Two of the
three sibling abuse variables were found to significantly influence the dependent variable
in this model. Experience with sibling psychological abuse (/?= -.413, t = -5.835,/? <
.005), and experience with sibling physical abuse (ft =.283, /=3.992,p < .000) were both
significant at the a = .1 level, in the presence of the other variables in the regression.
Experience with sibling sexual abuse was not significant in this regression model
(/?= -T034, t -.648, p = .517). These results indicate that any type of experience with
sibling psychological abuse and sibling physical abuse negatively influences the ability of
college students to provide emotional support.
Table 7 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEE (3 /
Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSPHYSICAL) .217 .054 .283 3.992***
Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSPSYCH) -.368 .063 -.413 -5.835***
Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SEX) -.080 .124 -.034 .517
42
Experience with Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling Abuse
Predicting Ability to Provide Emotional Support in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
As was done with the domain of initiating relationships, two additional regression
analyses were run to explore the influence a perpetrating experience and a surviving
experience have on one's ability to provide emotional support. The first of these two
regressions consists of independent or predictor variables comprised of three specific
indicators of perpetrating sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the CTS
(Straus, 1979), which includes perpetrating psychological sibling abuse, perpetrating
physical sibling abuse, and perpetrating sexual sibling abuse. The dependent variable for
this regression is the score students obtained on the Providing Emotional Support scale of
the ICQ (Buhrmester, Furman, Wittenberg & Reis, 1988).
Table 8 shows this regression model accounted for 9.1 % of the variance in
predicting one's ability to provide emotional support (F (3, 335) = 11.170,/? = .000).
Two of the three predictor variables were found to have a significant impact in the
presence of the other variables in the model. The results were as follows: perpetrating
sibling psychological abuse (/?= -.395, / = -5.654,/? < .005), perpetrating sibling physical
abuse (/?=.251, t= 3.590,/? < .005), both significant at the a =.1 level. Perpetrating
sibling sexual abuse was not found to be significant in this regression (/? = -7O6I, t - -
1.160,/? = .247). This analysis suggests the more experience one has perpetrating sibling
psychological abuse and/or sibling physical abuse, the more likely he or she will be to
have difficulty providing emotional support in relationships as a college student.
43
Table 8 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p /
Perp Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSIPHYSICAL) .188 .052 .251 3.590***
Perp Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSIPSYCH) -.347 .061 -.395 -5.654***
Perp Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSISEX) -.177 .153 -.061 -1.160
Experience Perpetrating Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Ability to Provide Emotional Support in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
The regression model addressing specifics related to the influence of a surviving
experience on one's ability to provide emotional support contains independent or
predictor variables comprised of three specific indicators of surviving sibling abuse as
determined by the altered version of the CTS (Straus, 1979), which includes surviving
psychological sibling abuse, surviving physical sibling abuse, and surviving sexual
sibling abuse. The dependent variable for this regression is the score students obtained
on the Providing Emotional Support scale of the ICQ (Buhrmester, et al., 1988).
Table 9 outlines the results of this analysis. This regression model accounted for
8.0 % of the variance in predicting one's ability to initiate relationships (F (3, 335) =
9.680, p = .000). Two of the three predictor variables were found to have a significant
impact in the presence of the other variables in the model: surviving sibling
44
psychological abuse (j3 = -.377, t = -5.374,/) < .005); surviving sibling physical abuse
(P=.267, t= 3.802, p < .005), both significant at the a~.\ level. Surviving sibling sexual
abuse was not found to be significant in this regression (j3 = -002, t = -.032, p = .975).
These results indicate the more experience one has surviving sibling psychological abuse
and/or sibling physical abuse as a child, the more likely he or she will be to have
difficulty providing emotional support in relationships as a college student.
Table 9 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p t
Surv Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS_SPHYSICAL) .202 .053 .267 3.802***
Surv Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS_SPSYCH) -317 .059 -.377 .5374***
Surv Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SSEX) -.003 .091 -.002 -.032
Experience Surviving Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Providing Emotional Support in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
Asserting Influence
The third aspect of interpersonal competency studied involves the ability of one to
assert influence in relationships. The independent or predictor variables were the three
general indicators of experience with sibling abuse as determined by the altered version
of the CTS (Straus, 1979), which includes overall experience with psychological sibling
45
abuse, overall experience with physical sibling abuse, and overall experience with sexual
sibling abuse. The dependent variable for this regression is the average score obtained on
the Asserting Influence scale of the ICQ (Buhrmester, et al., 1988).
As table 10 demonstrates, this regression model accounted for 3.7 % of the
variance in predicting ability to assert influence in relationships (F (3, 335) = 4.281,/? =
.006). Two of the three sibling abuse variables were determined to significantly influence
the dependent variable in this model. Experience with sibling psychological abuse {fi--
.206, t = -2.815,/? = .005), and experience with sibling physical abuse (/?=.259, t =3.536,
p < .005) were both significant at the a= .1 level, in the presence of the other variables in
the regression. Experience with sibling sexual abuse was not found to be significant in
this regression model (fi = -r014, t = -.259, p = .796). These results suggest that any type
of experience with sibling psychological abuse and sibling physical abuse negatively
influences the ability of college students to assert influence in relationships.
Table 10 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p t
Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSPHYSICAL) .222 .063 .259 3.536***
Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSPSYCH) -.205 .073 -.206 -2.815***
Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS__SEX) -.037 .143 -.014 -.259
Experience with Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling Abuse
Predicting Asserting Influence in College Student
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
46
Once again, two additional regression analyses were run to investigate the
influence a perpetrating experience and a surviving experience have on one's ability to
assert influence in relationships. The first of these two regressions consists of
independent or predictor variables comprised of three specific indicators of perpetrating
sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the CTS (Straus, 1979), which
includes perpetrating psychological sibling abuse, perpetrating physical sibling abuse,
and perpetrating sexual sibling abuse. The dependent variable for this regression is the
score students obtained on the Asserting Influence scale of the ICQ (Buhrmester, et al.,
1988).
Table 11 demonstrates this regression model accounted for 3.4 % of the variance
in predicting one's ability to assert influence in relationships (F (3, 335) = 3.882, p =
.009). Much like the previous regressions discussed thus far, perpetrating sibling
psychological abuse (J3= -.192, t= -2.669, p = .008), and perpetrating sibling physical
abuse (/? =.240, / = 3.324,p < .005), were both significant in this model at the a=. 1
level. Again, perpetrating sibling sexual abuse was not found to be significant in this
regression {fi =-033, t = -.605, p = .546). The results of the analysis indicate the more
experience one has perpetrating sibling psychological abuse and/or sibling physical
abuse, the more likely he or she will be to have difficulty asserting influence in
relationships.
Table 11 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB (3 t
47
Perp Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSIPHYSICAL) .200 .060 .240 3.324***
Perp Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSIPSYCH) -.189 .071 -.192 -2.669***
Perp Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSJSEX) -.106 .176 -.033 -.605
Experience Perpetrating Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Asserting Influence in College Students
*p<. 10 **p<. 05 ***p<. 01
In the second of the two regressions dealing with specifics related to one' s ability
to assert influence in relationships, the independent or predictor variables were three
specific indicators of surviving sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the
CTS (Straus, 1979), which includes surviving psychological sibling abuse, surviving
physical sibling abuse, and surviving sexual sibling abuse. The dependent variable for
this regression is the score students obtained on the Asserting Influence scale of the ICQ
(Buhrmester, et al., 1988).
Table 12 indicates this regression model accounted for 3.5 % of the variance in
predicting one' s ability to assert influence in relationships (F (3, 335) = 4.079,/? = .007).
Surviving sibling psychological abuse (J3= -.190, t = -2.644, p = .009), and surviving
sibling physical abuse (/? =.249, t = 3.459, p < .005) were both significant in the presence
of the other variables in this model at the a=.\ level. Surviving sibling sexual abuse was
not found to be significant in this regression (J3 = .002, t = .045,/? = .964). The results
of this regression indicate the more experience one has surviving sibling psychological
48
abuse and/or sibling physical abuse as a child, the more likely he or she will be to have
difficulty asserting influence in relationships.
Table 12 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p t
Surv Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS SPHYSICAL) .211 .061 .249 3.459***
Surv Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSSPSYCH) -.179 .068 -.190 -2.644***
Surv Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSSSEX) .005 .104 .002 .045
Experience Surviving Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Asserting Influence in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
Self-Disclosure
The fourth sphere of interpersonal competency considered involves self-
disclosure. The independent or predictor variables were the three general indicators of
experience with sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the CTS (Straus,
1979), which include overall experience with psychological sibling abuse, overall
experience with physical sibling abuse, and overall experience with sexual sibling abuse.
The dependent variable for this regression is the average score obtained on the Self-
Disclosure scale of the ICQ (Buhrmester, et al., 1988).
49
As shown in table 13, this regression model was not found to be significant, with
1.1 % of the variance in predicting self-disclosure (F(3, 335) =1.261, p = .288). The
results of the three sibling abuse variables are: experience with sibling psychological
abuse (/?= -.073, / = -.987, p = .324), experience with sibling physical abuse (J3 =.141, t
= 1.902,_p = .058), experience with sibling sexual abuse (J3 = -rOl 1, / = -.197, p = .844).
These results indicate that general experience with any type of sibling abuse does not
influence self-disclosure.
Table 13 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p /
Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSPHYSICAL) .151 .080 .141 1.902
Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS PSYCH) -.091 .092 -.073 -.987
Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS SEX) -.036 .181 -.011 -.197
Experience with Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling Abuse
Predicting Self-Disclosure in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
Even though the general model addressing the influence of sibling abuse on self-
disclosure was not found to be significant, the additional regression analyses were run to
explore if the influence of a perpetrating experience and a surviving experience are
significant on one's ability to provide emotional support. The first of these two
regressions consists of independent or predictor variables comprised of three specific
50
indicators of perpetrating sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the CTS
(Straus, 1979), which includes perpetrating psychological sibling abuse, perpetrating
physical sibling abuse, and perpetrating sexual sibling abuse. The dependent variable for
this regression is the score students obtained on the Self-Disclosure scale of the ICQ
(Buhrmester, et al , 1988).
Table 14 indicates this regression model was not significant, and accounted for
.7% of the variance in predicting one's ability to provide emotional support {F (3, 335) =
.768, p = .513). Results of the three predictor variables were as follows: perpetrating
sibling psychological abuse (/?= -.030, t= -A14,p = .679), perpetrating sibling physical
abuse (/? =.093, t = 1.334, p = . 183), and perpetrating sibling sexual abuse (fi =-r026, t =
-.473, p = .637). The results suggest the experience one has perpetrating any form of
sibling abuse has no significant influence on self-disclosure.
Table 14 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p /
Perp Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSJPHYSICAL) .102 .076 .098 1.334
Perp Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS IPSYCH) -.037 .090 -.030 -.414
Perp Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSJSEX) -.106 .223 -.026 -.473
Experience Perpetrating Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Self-Disclosure in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
51
In the second of the two regressions addressing specifics related to self-disclosure,
the independent or predictor variables were three specific indicators of surviving sibling
abuse as determined by the altered version of the CTS (Straus, 1980), which includes
surviving psychological sibling abuse, surviving physical sibling abuse, and surviving
sexual sibling abuse. The dependent variable for this regression is the score students
obtained on the Self-Disclosure scale of the ICQ (Buhrmester, et al., 1988).
Table 15 shows this regression model was not significant, and accounted for 1.7
% of the variance in predicting one's ability to self-disclose (F (3, 335) = 1.869, p =
.135). Results of the three predictor variables were: surviving sibling psychological
abuse (/?= -.103, t= -1.425,/? = .155); surviving sibling physical abuse (fi- .171, t =
2.358,p = .019); surviving sibling sexual abuse (J3= .000, t=-.00\,p = .999). This
regression proposes surviving any form of sibling abuse does not significantly influence
self-disclosure.
Table 15 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p /
Surv Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSSPHYSICAL) .181 .077 .171 2.358
Surv Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSSPSYCH) -.122 .085 -.103 -1.425
Surv Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSSSEX) -.000 .132 .000 -.001
Experience Surviving Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Self-Disclosure in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
52
Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution is the final dimension of interpersonal competency in the ICQ
(Buhrmester, et al., 1988). The independent or predictor variables were the three general
indicators of experience with sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the
CTS (Straus, 1979), which includes overall experience with psychological sibling abuse,
overall experience with physical sibling abuse, and overall experience with sexual sibling
abuse. The dependent variable for this regression is the average score obtained on the
Conflict Resolution scale of the ICQ (Buhrmester, et al., 1988).
As shown in table 16, this regression model accounted for 9.4 % of the variance
in predicting ability to use effective conflict resolution techniques in relationships (F (3,
335) =11.564,/? = .000). Two of the three sibling abuse variables were found to
significantly influence the dependent variable in this model. Experience with sibling
psychological abuse (fi= -.380, t= -5.361, p < .005), and experience with sibling physical
abuse (/?= .134, t = 1.882,/? = .061) were both significant at the a= .1 level, in the
presence of the other variables in the model. Experience with sibling sexual abuse was
not found to be significant in this regression model (/? = .043, t = .812,p = All). These
results suggest that any type of experience with sibling psychological abuse and/or
sibling physical abuse negatively influences effective conflict resolution skills.
Table 16 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB (3 /
Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSPHYSICAL) .115 .061 .134 1.882*
53
Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS_PSYCH) -.380 .071 -.380 -5.361***
Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSSEX) .113 .139 .043 .812
Experience with Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling Abuse
Predicting Conflict Resolution in College Students
*p<. 10 **p<. 05 ***p<. 01
Just as with the previous four interpersonal competency variables, two additional
regression analyses were run to explore the influence a perpetrating experience and a
surviving experience have on conflict resolution. The first of these two regressions
consists of independent or predictor variables comprised of three specific indicators of
perpetrating sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the CTS (Straus, 1979),
which includes perpetrating psychological sibling abuse, perpetrating physical sibling
abuse, and perpetrating sexual sibling abuse. The dependent variable for this regression
is the score students obtained on the Conflict Resolution scale of the ICQ (Buhrmester, et
al., 1988).
Table 17 demonstrates this regression model accounted for 9.5 % of the variance
in predicting one' s ability to effectively use conflict resolution techniques (F (3, 335) =
11.651,/? = .000). One of the three predictor variables (perpetrating psychological
sibling abuse) was found to have a significant impact on conflict resolution at the =. 1
level in the presence of the other variables in the model (J3= -.370, t = -5.306,/? < .000).
Perpetrating sibling sexual abuse (J3 = .010, f = .182,/? = .855), and perpetrating sibling
physical abuse {fi =. 109 t = 1.561, p = .120) were not found to be significant in this
54
regression. This analysis suggests the more experience one has perpetrating sibling
psychological abuse, the more likely he or she will be to have difficulty utilizing effective
conflict resolution skills.
Table 17 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p t
Perp Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSIPHYSICAL) .091 .059 .109 1.561
Perp Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSIPSYCH) -.365 .069 -.370 -5.306***
Perp Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSISEX) .031 .171 .010 .182
Experience Perpetrating Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Conflict Resolution in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
For the second of the two regressions addressing specifics related to conflict
resolution, the independent or predictor variables were three specific indicators of
surviving sibling abuse as determined by the altered version of the CTS (Straus, 1979),
which includes surviving psychological sibling abuse, surviving physical sibling abuse,
and surviving sexual sibling abuse. The dependent variable for this regression is the
score students obtained on the Conflict Resolution scale of the ICQ (Buhrmester, et al.,
1988).
55
Table 18 indicates this regression model accounted for 8.0 % of the variance in
predicting one's ability to effectively use conflict resolution in relationships (F(3, 335) =
9.716,/? < .005). Two of the three predictor variables were found to have a significant
impact in the presence of the other variables in the model: surviving sibling
psychological abuse (J3 -.345, t = -4.926,/? < .005); surviving sibling physical abuse
(/? =.122, t= 1.735, p = .084), both significant at the =. 1 level. Surviving sibling
sexual abuse was not found to be significant in this regression (/? = , 070, t= 1.324, p =
. 186). The results suggest the more experience one has surviving sibling psychological
abuse and/or sibling physical abuse as a child, the more likely he or she will be to have
difficulty utilizing effective conflict resolution skills in relationships.
Table 18 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p /
Surv Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS^SPHYSICAL) .104 .060 .122 1.735*
Surv Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS_SPSYCH) -.326 .066 -.345 -4.926***
Surv Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SSEX) .136 .102 .070 1.324
Experience Surviving Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Conflict Resolution in College Students
*p<. 10 **p<. 05 ***p<. 01
56
Summary of Results
The analyses conducted to investigate the two hypotheses at the center of this
study produced some significant findings. Results of multiple regressions testing the
hypothesis: Experiencing sibling abuse as a child inversely impacts level of self-esteem in
college students found that experiencing any form of psychological sibling abuse or
physical sibling abuse as a child has a negative and significant impact on the level of self-
esteem one has as a college student. The regressions examining perpetrating and
surviving experiences on the level of self-esteem as a college student found the
following: perpetrating psychological sibling abuse as a child has a negative and
significant influence on the level of self-esteem one has as a college student; surviving
psychological sibling abuse or physical sibling abuse as a child has a negative and
significant influence on the level of self-esteem one has as a college student. Sibling
sexual abuse was not a significant influencing factor on the level of self-esteem in college
students when run as a general predicting variable, specific perpetrator predicting
variable or specific survivor predicting variable in the regression models. It is important
to note that none of the sibling sexual abuse variables demonstrated acceptable reliability
for internal consistency of the scales, which may have had an impact on the outcome
sibling sexual abuse established in this study.
Multiple regressions run to test the second hypothesis: Experiencing sibling abuse
as a child inversely impacts interpersonal relationship competency in college students,
also resulted in some significant findings. Results suggest experiencing any form of
sibling psychological abuse or sibling physical abuse as a child has a significant and
57
negative impact on one's ability to initiate relationships, provide emotional support,
assert influence, and use conflict resolution techniques in relationships as a college
student. Self-disclosure is the only domain of interpersonal competency for which the
results did not indicate a significant influencing relationship with experiencing sibling
abuse as a child.
Regressions exploring the influence of perpetrating behavior on interpersonal
competencies found that perpetrating sibling psychological abuse or sibling physical
abuse as a child has a negative and significant influence on one's ability to initiate
relationships, provide emotional support, and assert influence in relationships as a college
student. Perpetrating psychological abuse as a child was found to have a significant and
negative impact on one's ability to effectively use conflict resolution in relationships as a
college student. No significant relationship was found in the regression model examining
perpetrating sibling abuse and self-disclosure.
The investigation of how surviving sibling abuse impacts the five spheres of
interpersonal competencies yielded results indicating that surviving sibling psychological
or physical abuse as a child has a significant and negative influence on one's ability to
initiate relationships, provide emotional support, assert influence, and effectively use
conflict resolution in relationships as a college student. As was the case with analyses
discussed previously, self-disclosure was the only domain of interpersonal competency
that did not indicate the presence of a significant influencing relationship with surviving
any form of sibling abuse.
58
Sibling sexual abuse as a general, perpetrating, or surviving predicting variable
did not demonstrate significance in any regression analyses conducted to address the
hypothesis related to interpersonal competency. Again, it is critical to consider the fact
that the scales measuring sibling sexual abuse did not meet acceptable standards for
reliability or internal consistency. The problems with the sexual abuse scales render the
results related to sibling sexual abuse unreliable and should, therefore, not be assumed
insignificant based on this study. Further considerations regarding limitations related to
the sibling sexual abuse results will be discussed in the limitations section of the
discussion chapter.
59
CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION
This chapter will provide an inclusive discussion of the implications of the results
presented in chapter 4. The primary results of the analyses conducted will be reviewed in
relation to how they build on the literature associated with the study of sibling abuse.
Moreover, limitations of the research in this study will be evaluated. The chapter will
conclude with a review of implications for counselor education, college counselors, and
future research.
Implications of Results
Hypothesis 1
This study used an exploratory survey to investigate two primary hypotheses
regarding the influence experiencing sibling abuse as a child has on the two well-being
constructs of self-esteem and interpersonal competency in college students. Hypothesis 1
purported that experiencing sibling abuse as a child would inversely impact the level of
self-esteem in college students. The results of multiple regression analyses supported this
hypothesis. In particular, experiencing psychological sibling abuse and/or physical
sibling abuse as a child were shown to be significant and unique, negative, influencing
indicators of one's level of self-esteem as a college student. Further, the more experience
one has with perpetrating psychological and physical sibling abuse as a child, and/or
surviving psychological sibling abuse as a child the lower the level of self-esteem he or
she is likely to have as a college student, according to the outcome of this study.
These findings offer support for a theoretical link between having some manner of
experience with sibling psychological or physical abuse as a child and having a low level
60
of self-esteem as a college student. This study builds on research conducted by Caya
and Liem (1998) and Daniel (1999), in which the sibling relationship was determined to
be one of the most important forces in the development of self-esteem. While these
studies consider the importance of the sibling relationship on the formation of self-
esteem, the sibling relationship was focused on only as a secondary issue and neither
study addresses how an abusive sibling relationship influences the development of self-
esteem. The current study attempts to grapple with this missing piece in the literature and
uses empirical research to specifically examine how abusive sibling relationships
influence self-esteem.
Hypothesis 2
Hypothesis 2 stated that experiencing sibling abuse as a child inversely impacts
interpersonal relationship competency in college students. The outcome of regression
analyses resulted with significant findings supporting this hypothesis. Four out of five
domains of interpersonal competency (initiating relationships, providing emotional
support, asserting influence, and conflict resolution) found experiencing any form of
psychological or physical sibling abuse to be a unique and significant, negative,
influencing factor on outcome in relationships as a college student. Specifically,
perpetrating psychological sibling abuse and perpetrating physical sibling abuse were
shown to have a negative and significant influence on initiating relationships, providing
emotional support, and asserting influence. Perpetrating psychological sibling abuse
also has a negative and significant influence on effective conflict resolution skills.
Additionally, surviving psychological sibling abuse and surviving physical sibling abuse
61
were shown to have a negative and significant influence on initiating relationships,
providing emotional support, asserting influence, and utilizing effective conflict
resolution skills.
These results support a theoretical link between experiencing sibling abuse as a
child and having negative interpersonal competency abilities as a college student. Prior
studies conducted by Raver and Volling (2007), and Cutting and Dunn (2006) examined
how family relationships, including the sibling relationship, influence the long-term
development of interpersonal competencies, though neither study addressed the
consequences of an abusive sibling relationship. This dissertation builds upon that
research by using empirical analysis to consider the specific consequences of an abusive
sibling relationship on the development of interpersonal competencies in college
students.
Limitations
One major limitation of this study involves outcome related to sibling sexual
abuse. Oddly, this study did not find an association between the experience of sibling
sexual abuse and current sense of well-being, which is synchronistic with present
literature on this topic (Haskins, 2003; Phillips-Green, 2002). However, many factors
may have influenced these results. Only three sets of questions (six questions total) were
used in the survey to address abusive sibling sexual abuse. As a result, the reliability of
the scales measuring this form of abuse was poor, with the combined scale reflecting a
Cronbach's alpha of only .593 and the subscales for survivors and perpetrators reflecting
Cronbach alpha scores of .425 and .45, respectively. The reliability scores indicate
62
significant problems with internal consistency. The questions used to measure sibling
sexual abuse need to be re-worked and reconsidered in terms of if they are measuring the
intended construct. In addition, it would likely be beneficial to incorporate additional
questions related to these scales.
The second consideration in regard to the results concerning sibling sexual abuse,
is the reality that sexual abuse is often more difficult to disclose than other forms of abuse
(Alaggia, 2004; Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998; Wolfe, Francis & Straatman, 2006;
Wiehe, 1997). In cases of sibling molestation, disclosure is usually delayed or happens
accidentally when it is discovered by a third party such as through routine medical
examination (Alaggia, 2004). The average delay of disclosing sibling abuse is 3-18
years, which indicates many children live with the sexual assault and do not receive
treatment until well into adulthood. While it is rare for survivors of every form of sexual
abuse to disclose the abuse immediately, survivors of sibling sexual abuse experience the
added complication of not wanting to betray a sibling (Alaggia, 2004; Finklehor &
Browne, 1985; Wolf et al., 2006). When siblings do report sexual abuse, parents and
guardians frequently respond with disbelief, which models behavior non-accepting of the
abuse that has occurred and leaves the impression reporting sexual abuse is negative
(Wiehe, 1990). In light of these circumstances, it seems probable students with sibling
sexual abuse history would not feel comfortable disclosing on this survey.
The fact that the survey was self-report presents another limitation to this study.
In spite of the reality that the survey was anonymous and voluntary, the force of social
desirability could have influenced how students chose to respond. It was assumed that
63
students were reporting in a truthful manner; however, there was not an accurate and
accessible means for which to test the validity of student responses in this study.
Therefore, it is possible that responses were included in the analyses that were not
reflective of some students' reality.
There is a limitation related to the research design of this study. As family
violence is typically a systemic problem, it is likely that the experience of sibling abuse
does not occur in isolation of other forms of abuse. This study did not consider the effect
possible interaction of experiencing other forms of abuse in addition to sibling abuse may
have on the outcome. Future research modeling this dissertation can modify the survey
to include questions addressing other abusive family experiences. The challenge to this
will be to maintain a primary focus on sibling abuse and not designate the sibling abuse
experience as secondary to other forms of family violence.
An additional limitation to the study involves the sample. Students included in
the study were obtained through a convenience sample for which permission was granted
by the instructor for the primary investigator to directly administer the survey in his or
her classroom. While access to several classes in the hard sciences and school of
business were attempted, permission to administer the survey to these classes was not
obtained. As a result, only classes for fields in the school of education and the school of
arts and sciences were included in this dissertation. The sample also represents students
from only one university, and it is possible the outcome of the study would not be the
same were it replicated at different college or university.
64
A further limitation is the lack of attention paid to identity variables (such as age,
gender, and cultural identity) beyond the basic scope of demographic reporting. It is
possible that these variables could prove significant factors in how one responds to the
experience of sibling abuse, and in turn, how he or she develops self-esteem and
interpersonal competencies. Clearly, results of this study should not be generalized to the
larger college and university populations; rather the analyses offers a starting point to
stimulate further research on the prevalence of and treatment for the consequences of
sibling abuse as they specifically relate to college students.
Implications for Counselor Education
As this research supports, the experience of sibling abuse has long-term
consequences on the development of self-esteem and interpersonal competencies. With
this in mind, counselor education as it relates to sibling abuse must begin attending to this
phenomenon. Counselors must be taught to explore issues of sibling maltreatment,
especially when working with a client for whom other forms of abuse exist. Considering
the systemic nature of abuse, it is vital that therapists be trained to investigate the entire
family history in terms of interpersonal functioning, rather than overlooking the
importance of the sibling relationship, as it is currently the case that it is rare for a client
to be asked about his or her sibling relationships. To facilitate this type of learning,
counselor education training can incorporate literature related to the importance of sibling
relationships and sibling abuse when studying topics of family violence. Experiential
techniques, such as role-playing, can be used to provide an opportunity for counselors-in-
65
training to practice asking about abusive sibling relationships. This type of training will
promote knowledge and improve clinical interventions of new counselors.
In addition, instruction regarding the use of assessment mechanisms, such as
intake interviews, to consider sibling conflict is important. Counselors must learn how to
advocate for education and support surrounding the issues of sibling abuse; a necessary
step towards re-defining societal norms about sibling maltreatment (Wiehe, 1997). In
general, greater study of sibling abuse will improve the abilities of counselors to assist
the students, families, and communities affected by this problem.
Implications for College Counselors
In spite of limitations of this research, the findings support the existence of a
significant and negative influencing force of experience with psychological and physical
sibling abuse as a child and one's level of self-esteem and interpersonal competency as a
college student. Given the prevalence and devastating consequences of sibling abuse,
clinicians working in the college and university settings can not avoid addressing the
issue (Snyder et al., 2005; Wiehe, 1990). Working with this population is complex and
requires understanding of the unique implications associated with abuse in sibling
relationships. In order to offer the best treatment possible to those connected with sibling
abuse, mental health professionals must consider appropriate treatment options
(Ammerman & Hersen, 1991; Simonelli et al., 2002).
Individual therapy will vary from case to case. The most critical aspect of
individual therapy when working with perpetrators and survivors of sibling abuse is to
establish trust (Ross, 1996). Establishing trust is particularly difficult with this
66
population because of the intense secrecy and shame that is likely to have accompanied
the abuse. The student could believe he or she is abnormal, which will make opening up
in the therapy session difficult. As a result, mental health professionals must establish
rapport, create a safe environment, and establish collaborative and unique goals for
therapy (Patterson, 1982; Phillips-Green, 2002).
Denov (2003) found one of the most vital elements of establishing a positive
therapeutic outcome is to develop positive professional responses to the client. Positive
professional responses consist of treating the sibling abuse experience as a serious matter,
necessitating acknowledging this form of abuse in the early stages of the therapeutic
process. When positive responses are offered, relief and reassurance are fostered, which
assists with the healing process (Denov, 2003). Social justice, collaboration, non-
judgmental behavior, and compassion are additional vital components to embrace when
creating a positive therapeutic environment for students with sibling abuse history. When
a student engages in therapy with this type of atmosphere, clinicians can help the student
move away from self-defeating and self-destructive behaviors that may be interfering
with improving self-esteem and developing better interpersonal competencies. As
therapy progresses, the clinician can help the student move towards a focus on self-
development and empowerment (Briere, 1992; Gil, 1996).
In general, treatment with survivors of sibling abuse should include building self-
esteem, developing self-confidence and increasing the ability to develop healthy,
meaningful relationships with others. The survivor must be allowed to experience at his
or her own pace and may need therapeutic assistance to confront the offending sibling as
67
well as other family members if so desired (Wiehe, 1998). Survivors often need help
addressing guilt, shame and fear, which can interfere with healthy self-esteem (Caffaro &
Conn-Caffaro, 1998). To improve one's ability to develop interpersonal competency,
the therapist can work with the student to help identify healthy support networks (Snyder
et al., 2005).
Individual therapy with sibling abuse perpetrators will likely center on issues of
denial and taking responsibility; also factors possibly interfering with the development of
positive self-esteem and interpersonal competency. Most students who have perpetrated
sibling abuse have endured the abuse of someone else; however, it is critical that the
abuse experienced by the perpetrator not be viewed as an excuse for the abuse that he or
she has inflicted on his or her sibling (Rudd & Herzberger, 1999; Wiehe, 1998; Simonelli
et al., 2002). Requiring the perpetrating sibling to take responsibility and acknowledge
what has happened may be an especially difficult challenge, as he or she may have
interpreted messages from parental figures and society as supportive of the abusive
actions (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998; Kiselica & Morrill-Richards, 2007; Simonelli et
al., 2002).
The college counselor should consider family problems when working with
college students, as it is often the case that sibling abuse is connected to issues in the
family (Medalie & Rockwell, 1989). Family therapy can be powerful and prove
beneficial when dealing with this issue, though the therapist has an obligation to ensure
that the family does not blame the survivor for what has happened before commencing
with family interventions (Phillips-Green, 2002). Mental health counselors working with
68
families in which sibling maltreatment has occurred have the task of finding a productive
means to address denial both within the family and in society, and explain the impact
societal and family denial of this abuse has on the survivor (Rudd & Herzberger, 1999).
Group therapy is an additional component that has proven beneficial in the case of
sibling sexual abuse, and is likely to prove beneficial for treatment of psychological and
physical sibling abuse as well (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998). Group therapy provides
a sense of commonality and hope for both survivors and perpetrators and may be
particularly beneficial to the college student who feels disconnected from other
relationships (Medalie & Rockwell, 1989; Phillips-Green, 2002; Snyder et al., 2005).
Survivors and offenders should not be combined in one group, but rather each should be
offered a separate group situation in order to minimize the potential for recreation of
abusive dynamics and unequal power differentials. Groups offered to survivors provide a
sense of connection and support as well as increase a sense of empowerment and self-
esteem (Ammerman & Hersen, 1991). Perpetrator groups provide support as well as an
opportunity for perpetrators to begin taking responsibility for their abusive actions
(Ammerman & Hersen, 1991; Phillips-Green, 2002).
Research
General Considerations
In order to improve treatment approaches and prevention programs for college
students who have experienced sibling abuse, further research must be conducted to
improve understanding of the subject. While the study conducted in this dissertation
serves as a point to build future empirical research on, additional research related to
69
prevalence and consequences unique to sibling abuse with college students is desperately
needed to gain a comprehensive understanding of how deeply rooted the problem is.
Study of innovative plans for treatment with perpetrators and survivors will offer mental
health clinicians working on college campuses new options for effectively working with
this population (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998; Phillips-Green, 2002; Wiehe, 1990).
The absence of empirical research on sibling abuse stands in stark contrast to
studies conducted on virtually every other form of abuse. There is a dearth of research
that speaks to the intricacies and unique circumstances related to sibling abuse and the
consequences that linger into adulthood, such as self-esteem and interpersonal
competencies as were investigated in this dissertation (Ammerman & Hersen, 1991;
Phillips-Green, 2002). This study marks an effort to promote and expand much needed
critical research on this topic, with two primary benefits including providing operational
definitions for the study of sibling abuse that may be used in future research, and
providing one of the first empirical studies conducted on how experience with sibling
abuse influences the development of self-esteem and interpersonal competencies. Future
research related to this study will include refining the questions in the sexual abuse scale
and addressing the other limitations presented earlier, which should dramatically improve
the reliability and generalizability of the results. Ongoing similar research to this study
will help identify possible variables influencing the results, as well as provide insight into
the development of an instrument to assess college students experience with this
phenomenon in a meaningful way.
70
Research Related to Gender.
As was discussed in the limitations of research section, gender must be included
in future research related to the consequences of experiencing sibling abuse. Male and
female survivors of sibling sexual abuse are at equal risk of being involved in future
criminal activity (Graham-Bermann et al., 1994). Females are significantly more likely
than males to be re-victimized in intimate partner relationships (Harway & O'Neil, 1999).
Males are less likely than females to report being a survivor because of the
embarrassment males experience when seeking help and admitting they have been
abused, especially sexually, by a sibling (Duncan, 1999; Goodwin & Roscoe, 1990).
Male survivors tend to be overlooked in regard to sibling sexual abuse issues, in
particular. The reality that male survivors are less likely to seek help increases the
probability that they will be dismissed by helping professionals and not receive the help
and support that may be needed to regain a sense of well-being (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro,
1998).
The minimal amount of research that has been conducted suggests that gender
does seem to have an impact on the propensity for being a sibling abuse perpetrator.
Leder (1993) found that societal gender expectations and rigid gender roles create an
environment in which males are more competitive and aggressive. In addition, males
report being an offender of sibling abuse far more often than females. Males also may be
physically stronger than their sisters or younger siblings, making abusive activities easier
to engage in (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998). While females are less likely to be the
perpetrator of sibling abuse, when they are the perpetrator the level of frequency,
71
severity, coercion and violence are often more severe than is typical of most males who
engage in sibling abuse (Steinmetz, 1981).
Research Related to Multicultural issues
There has not been significant study conducted on any form of sibling abuse
across cultures. However, the research that has been conducted indicates important
considerations regarding cultural values and sibling aggression. A study conducted by
Steinmetz (1981) examined sibling violence across five countries (The United States,
Finland, Puerto Rico, Israel, and Canada). The United States scored the highest for level
of physical and verbal aggression among siblings and the lowest for using discussion as a
means of resolution. According to Bellak and Antell (1974), the results of studies
conducted in Germany and Italy indicate that there is a direct link between the level of
aggression deemed acceptable by a culture and the amount of sibling abuse that exists.
Across cultures it has been found that experiencing sibling abuse increases the chance of
becoming involved in abusive relationships throughout life as either the perpetrator or
survivor (Cunradi, Caetano, & Schafer, 2002).
Research Related to Prevention.
This study adds support to the contention that sibling abuse is widespread and has
devastating consequences to critical aspects of well-being. As such, sibling abuse is a
societal concern. Therefore, prevention programs must be developed through
collaboration with other disciplines, other social agencies, and increased ongoing
research. For example, college counselors need to work with counselor educators
conducting research, mental health clinicians in the community, law enforcement
72
agencies, family service agencies, and schools to develop and promote effective sibling
abuse awareness programs (Knopp, 1995; Snyder et al., 2005).
Prevention that focuses on sibling relationships early in development will help
professionals and parents avoid the tendency to ignore and/or minimize sibling abuse as
benign sibling rivalry (Abrahams & Hoey, 1994; Wiehe, 1997). Promoting research
related to utilizing the power of sibling socialization can assist in the education and
development of positive sibling relationships in addition to providing parents with
important information about the influence of sibling interactions (Snyder et al, 2005).
Using this study as a stepping stone for stimulating further research and encouraging
awareness will aid in prevention development.
As mentioned throughout this dissertation, a lack of ongoing research about
sibling abuse is a primary reason general understanding of the occurrence is limited.
Haskins (2003) reported that while investigators studying every other form of abuse
continue to receive funding to support their studies, funding for research on sibling abuse
has been reduced steadily since the mid-1980s. This fact accounts for why the few
empirical studies related to sibling abuse that have been done are dated to the early
1980's. In order to gather accurate information pertaining to current trends in sibling
abuse and methods for reducing it, more funding is required. As the research presented
in this study indicates, sibling abuse does have significant implications on long-term
constructs of well-being, and further research must be encouraged, supported and funded
to bring the issue to mainstream clinical focus. In an effort to secure such appropriations,
clinicians concerned with sibling abuse issues should encourage ACA and its affiliates to
73
lobby the federal government for increased funding of sibling abuse research projects.
Taken as a whole, increased research and study related to sibling abuse will improve the
abilities of counselors to assist those who are affected by this troublesome crisis.
74
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from the national family violence resurvey and other studies. In M. S. Staus & R.
J. Gelles (Eds.), Physical violence in American families: Risk factors and
adaptations to violence in 8,145 families (pp. 95 -112). New Brunswick, NJ:
Transaction Publishers.
Straus, M., Gelles, P., & Steinmetz, S. (1980). Behind closed doors. New York, NY:
Doubleday.
Whelan, D. (2003). Using attachment theory when placing siblings in foster care. Child
and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 20, 21-36.
Whipple, E. & Finton, S. (1995). Psychological maltreatment by siblings: An
unrecognized form of abuse. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 12, 135-
146.
Wiehe, V. R. (1990). Sibling abuse: Hidden physical, emotional, and sexual trauma.
Lexington, MA, England: Lexington Books.
Wiehe, V. R. (1997). Sibling abuse. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Wiehe, V. R. (1998). Understanding family violence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Publications.
83
Wiehe, V. R. (2000). Sibling abuse. In H. Henderson (Ed.), Domestic violence and child
abuse resource sourcebook (pp. 409-492). Detroit: Omnigraphics.
Wolfe, D. A., Francis, K. J., & Straatman, A. (2006). Child abuse in religiously-affiliated
institutions: Long-term impact on men's mental health. Child Abuse & Neglect,
30, 205-212.
84
Appendices
Appendi x A
Regression Tables
Table 1 Simultaneous Regression Anal ysi s
Variable B SEB (3 t
Physi cal Si b Abus e
( CTS_PHYSI CAL) . 782 .427 .138 1.832*
Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS PSYCH) -1.850 .499 -.279 -3.706***
Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSSEX) -1.093 1.015 -.060 -1.077
Experience with Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling Abuse
Predicting Level of Self-Esteem in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
85
Table 2 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p t
Perp Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSIPHYSICAL) .724 .410 .131 1.766*
Perp Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSIPSYCH) -1.721 .485 -.263 -3.545***
Perp Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSJSEX) -1.541 1.243 -.069 .216
Experience Perpetrating Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Level of Self-Esteem in College Students
*p<. 10 **p<. 05 ***p<. 01
86
Table 3 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p /
Surv Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSSPHYSICAL) .610 .416 .109 1.466
Surv Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS_SPSYCH) -1.574 .463 -.252 -3.397***
Surv Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SSEX) -.502 .756 -.037 -.664
Experience Surviving Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Level of Self-Esteem in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
87
Table 4 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p t
Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS_PHYSICAL) .264 .078 .246 3.379***
Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSPSYCH) -.360 .090 -.289 -3.980***
Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS SEX) .044 .177 .013 .247
Experience with Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling Abuse
Predicting Initiating Relationships in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
88
Tabl e 5 Si mul t aneous Regressi on Anal ysi s
Vari abl e B SEB p /
Perp Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSIPHYSICAL) .243 .075 .232 3.241***
Perp Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS IPSYCH) -.347 .088 -.282 -3.948***
Perp Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSJSEX) -.069 .219 -.017 -.316
Experience Perpetrating Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Initiating Relationships in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
89
Table 6 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB (3 t
Surv Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS SPHYSICAL) .239 .076 .225 3.144***
Surv Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS SPSYCH) -.305 .084 -.249 -3.618***
Surv Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SSEX) .089 .130 .037 .683
Experience Surviving Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Initiating Relationships in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
90
Table 7 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p t
Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSPHYSICAL) .217 .054 .283 3.992***
Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSPSYCH) -.368 .063 -.413 -5.835***
Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS SEX) -.080 .124 -.034 .517
Experience with Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling Abuse
Predicting Ability to Provide Emotional Support in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
91
Table 8 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p /
Perp Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSIPHYSICAL) .188 .052 .251 3.590***
Perp Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSIPSYCH) -.347 .061 -.395 -5.654***
Perp Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSJSEX) -.177 .153 -.061 -1.160
Experience Perpetrating Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Ability to Provide Emotional Support in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
92
Table 9 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p /
Surv Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS_SPHYSICAL) .202 .053 .267 3.802***
Surv Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSSPSYCH) -317 .059 -.377 .5.374***
Surv Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SSEX) -.003 .091 -.002 -.032
Experience Surviving Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Providing Emotional Support in College Students
*p<. 10 **p<. 05 ***p<. 01
93
Table 10 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB (3 /
Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSPHYSICAL) .222 .063 .259 3.536***
Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSPSYCH) -.205 .073 -.206 -2.815***
Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SEX) -.037 .143 -.014 -.259
Experience with Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling Abuse
Predicting Asserting Influence in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
94
Table 11 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p /
Perp Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSIPHYSICAL) .200 .060 .240 3.324***
Perp Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSIPSYCH) -.189 .071 -.192 -2.669***
Perp Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSJSEX) -.106 .176 -.033 -.605
Experience Perpetrating Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Asserting Influence in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
95
Tabl e 12 Si mul t aneous Regressi on Anal ysi s
Vari abl e B SEE p t
Surv Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS_SPHYSICAL) .211 .061 .249 3.459***
Surv Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSSPSYCH) -.179 .068 -.190 -2.644***
Surv Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SSEX) .005 .104 .002 .045
Experience Surviving Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Asserting Influence in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
96
Table 13 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p /
Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSPHYSICAL) .151 .080 .141 1.902
Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS PSYCH) -.091 .092 -.073 -.987
Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS SEX) -.036 .181 -.011 -.197
Experience with Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling Abuse
Predicting Self-Disclosure in College Students
*p<. 10 **p<. 05 ***p<. 01
97
Table 14 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB
Perp Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSIPHYSICAL)
.102 .076 .098 1.334
Perp Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSJPSYCH) -.037
.090
-.030
.414
Perp Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSJSEX)
.106
.223
-.026
,473
Experience Perpetrating Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Self-Disclosure in College Students
*p<.10 **p<. 05 ***p<. 01
98
Table 15 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p t
Surv Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS_SPHYSICAL) .181 .077 .171 2.358
Surv Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS_SPSYCH) -.122 .085 -.103 -1.425
Surv Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SSEX) -.000 .132 .000 -.001
Experience Surviving Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Self-Disclosure in College Students
*p<. 10 **p<. 05 ***p<. 01
99
Tabl e 16 Si mul t aneous Regressi on Anal ysi s
Vari abl e B SEE p t
Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS_PHYSICAL) .115 .061 .134 1.882*
Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS_PSYCH) -.380 .071 -.380 -5.361***
Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTS_SEX) .113 .139 .043 .812
Experience with Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling Abuse
Predicting Conflict Resolution in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
100
Table 17 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB (5 /
Perp Physical Sib Abuse
(CTSIPHYSICAL) .091 .059 .109 1.561
Perp Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTSIPSYCH) -.365 .069 -.370 -5.306***
Perp Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSJSEX) .031 .171 .010 .182
Experience Perpetrating Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Conflict Resolution in College Students
*p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<. 01
101
Table 18 Simultaneous Regression Analysis
Variable B SEB p /
Surv Physical Sib Abuse
(CTS SPHYSICAL) .104 .060 .122 1.735*
Surv Psychological Sib Abuse
(CTS SPSYCH) -.326 .066 -.345 -4.926***
Surv Sexual Sib Abuse
(CTSSSEX) .136 .102 .070 1.324
Experience Surviving Psychological Sibling Abuse, Physical Sibling Abuse, and Sexual Sibling
Abuse Predicting Conflict Resolution in College Students
*p<. 10 **p<. 05 ***p<. 01
102
Appendix B
Informed Consent
INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE
You are being invited to take part in a study examining sibling relationships and the
impact sibling relationships have on the sense of well-being for college students.
Participation in this study involves completion of the attached survey. Approximate
completion time is 10-15 minutes.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE RISKS AND DISCOMFORTS?
Although every effort has been made to minimize risk and discomfort, you may find
some questions in the survey to be upsetting or stressful. Please be aware that the
University of Memphis does not have any funds budgeted for compensation for injury or
damages. YOU MAY ELECT TO SKIP ANY QUESTION(S) THAT YOU DO NOT
WISH TO ANSWER.
If anything in this survey brings up feelings and/or emotions about which you feel you
wish to speak with someone, the University of Memphis has two centers which offer
services to its students at no cost:
The Center for Counseling, Learning and Testing (214 Wilder Tower, 901-678-2068
or call 901-678-HELP after-hours and ask for a counselor).
The Psychological Services Center (202 Psychology Building, 901-678-2147).
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
The results of this study will provide useful information regarding the consequences of
sibling conflict on college students' sense of well-being. This information will be
valuable in assessing the counseling needs of college students who have experienced
varying levels of sibling conflict.
CAN MY TAKING PART IN THE STUDY END EARLY?
You may elect to stop your participation at any time by simply not completing the survey.
Refusal to participate or a decision to discontinue the project will involve no penalty.
This study is totally voluntary and you may stop at any time or decide not to answer
questions that cause you to feel uncomfortable.
A NOTE ABOUT ANONYMITY
Participation in this study is entirely anonymous and voluntary. The results will be
analyzed and reported as group trends without directly identifying any individual
response. To protect your privacy, there is no way to know whether any particular
individual has participated.
103
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE STUDY
Any questions regarding this study and research subjects' rights may be directed toward
Mandy Morrill-Richards (doctoral candidate mmrrllrc@memphis.edu) or Dr. Nancy
Nishimura ( nnishimr@memphis.edu ) located at: Counseling Educational Psychology
and Research, 100 Ball Hall, (901) 678-2841 Any questions regarding research and
research subjects' rights in general may be directed to The Chair of the Committee for the
Protection of Human Research Participants at (901) 678-2533.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
I consent to participate in this research. The following has been completely explained to
me: the purpose of the study, the procedures to be followed, and the expected duration of
participation. Possible benefits and risks of the study have been described. I acknowledge
that I have been given the opportunity to obtain additional information regarding the
study and that any questions I have raised have been answered to my full satisfaction.
Furthermore, I understand that I am free to withdraw consent at any time and to
discontinue participation in the study without prejudice to me.
104
Appendix C
Survey Instrument
Sibling Relationships
Sibling relationships may be comprised of biological siblings (sharing the same
biological parents), half siblings (sharing one parent), step-siblings (related through
marriage of parents), adoptive siblings, foster siblings (related through a shared
home) or fictive siblings (may not be biologically related, but are considered
siblings).
Age: How many siblings do you have?
Gender:
I have siblings younger
than me
Ethnic/Cultural Identity:
I have siblings older
than me
Are you currently living with any siblings?
YES / NO
Status in School:
Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Graduate
Section One
The situations described below are examples of experiences that may occur in
sibling relationships. Please respond to the statements using the following scale:
0=never
l =ver y r ar el y
2=r ar el y
3=occasi onaIl y
4=ver y f r equent l y
5=al ways
1.1 showed a sibling I cared even though we disagreed 0 1 2 3 4 5
105
2. A sibling showed care for me even though we disagreed
3.1 insulted a sibling
4. A sibling insulted me
5.1 threatened to hit or throw something at a sibling
6. A sibling threatened to hit or throw something at me
7.1 sexually touched a sibling
8. A sibling sexually touched me
9.1 shouted or yelled at a sibling
10. A sibling shouted or yelled at me
11.1 threw something at a sibling that could hurt
12. A sibling threw something at me that could hurt
13.1 slapped a sibling
14. A sibling slapped me
15.1 pushed, grabbed, or shoved a sibling
16. A sibling pushed, grabbed or shoved me
17.1 pressured a sibling to have sexual contact with me
18. A sibling pressured me to have sexual contact with him/her
19. I discussed issues calmly with a sibling
20. A sibling discussed issues calmly with me
21.1 said or did something to spite a sibling
22. A sibling said or did something to spite me
23. I kicked, bit, or punched a sibling
24. A sibling kicked, bit punched me
25.1 beat a sibling up
26. A sibling beat me up
27.1 choked a sibling
28. A sibling choked me
29.1 showed a sibling pornographic material
30. A sibling showed me pornographic material
31.1 comforted a sibling when he/she was upset
32. A sibling comforted me when I was upset
33.1 threatened a sibling with a knife or gun
34. A sibling threatened me with a knife or gun
35.1 used a knife or gun against a sibling
36. A sibling used a knife or gun against me
0 1 2
0 12
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
01 2
0 1 2
0 12
0 1 2
0 12
0 1 2
0 12
0 1 2
0 12
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 12
0 12
0 1 2
0 1 2
0 1 2
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
mms
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
3 4 5
Section Two
Below are statements dealing with general feelings about YOURSELF. Use
the following guide to circle your response to each statement:
STRONGLY AGREE, = SA.
AGREE = A.
106
DISAGREE, = D.
STRONGLY DISAGREE,= SD.
1. 2 3. 4.
STRONGLY STRONGLY
AGREE AGREE DISAGREE DISAGREE
1. I feel that I'm a person of
worth, at least on an equal
plane with others.
SA D SD
2. I feel that I have a number
of good qualities.
SA D SD
All in all, I am inclined to
feel that I am a failure.
SA D SD
I am able to do things as
well as most other people.
SA D SD
I feel I do not have much to
be proud of.
SA D SD
I take a positive attitude
toward myself.
SA D SD
7. On the whole, I am satisfied
with myself.
SA D SD
8. I wish I could have more
respect for myself.
SA D SD
I certainly feel useless at
times.
SA D SD
10. At times I think I am no
good at all.
SA D SD
Section Three
Circle the number which best describes you using the following guide:
107
1 = Poor at t hi s; would be so uncomfortable and unable to handle
this situation that it would be avoided at possible.
2 = Fai r at t hi s; would feel uncomfortable and would have some
difficulty handling this situation.
3 = O. K. at t hi s; would feel somewhat uncomfortable and have a little
difficulty handling this situation.
4 = Good at t hi s; would feel very comfortable and could handle this
situation very well.
5 = EXREMELY good at t hi s; would feel very comfortable and could
handle this situation very well.
How good are you at asking someone new to do things 1 2 3 4 5
together, like go to a ball game or a movie?
How good are you at making someone feel better when 1 2 3 4 5
they are unhappy or sad?
How good are you at getting people to go along with 1 2 3 4 5
what you want?
How good are you at telling people private things about 1 2 3 4 5
yourself?
How good are you at resolving disagreements in ways 1 2 3 4 5
that make things better instead of worse?
How good are you at going out of your way to start up 1 2 3 4 5
new relationships?
How good are you at being able to make others feel like 1 2 3 4 5
their problems are understood?
How good are you at taking charge? 1 2 3 4 5
How good are you at letting someone see your sensitive 1 2 3 4 5
side?
How good are you at dealing with disagreements in ways 1 2 3 4 5
that make both people happy in the long run?
How good are you at carrying on conversations with new 1 2 3 4 5
people that you would like to know better?
108
12. How good are you at helping people work through their
thoughts and feelings about important decisions?
1 2 3 4 5
13. How good are you at sticking up for yourself? 1 2 3 4 5
14. How good are you at telling someone embarrassing 1 2 3 4 5
things about yourself?
15. How good are you at resolving disagreements in ways 1 2 3 4 5
so neither person feels hurt or resentful?
16. How good are you at introducing yourself to people for 1 2 3 4 5
the first time?
17. How good are you at helping people handle pressure or 1 2 3 4 5
upsetting events?
18. How good are you at getting someone to agree with your 1 2 3 4 5
point of view?
19. How good are you at opening up and letting someone get 1 2 3 4 5
to know everything about you?
20. How good are you at dealing with disagreements in ways 1 2 3 4 5
so that one person does not always come out the loser?
21. How good are you at calling new people on the phone to 1 2 3 4 5
set up a time to get together to do things?
22. How good are you at showing that you really care when 1 2 3 4 5
someone talks about problems?
23. How good are you at deciding what should be done? 1 2 3 4 5
24. How good are you at sharing personal thoughts and 1 2 3 4 5
feelings with others?
25. How good arc you at dealing with disagreements in ways 1 2 3 4 5
that don' t lead to big arguments?
26. How good are you at going places where there are unfamiliar 1 2 3 4 5
people in order to get to know new people?
27. How good are you at helping others understand 1 2 3 4 5
Your problems better?
109
28. How good are you at voicing your desires and opinions? 1 2 3 4 5
29. How good are you at telling someone things that you 1 2 3 4 5
do not want everyone to know?
30. How good are you at getting over disagreements quickly? 1 2 3 4 5
31. How good are you at making good first impressions when 1 2 3 4 5
getting to know new people?
32. How good are you at giving suggestions and advice in ways 1 2 3 4 5
that are received well by others?
33. How good are you at getting your own way with others? 1 2 3 4 5
34. How good are you at telling someone your true feelings 1 2 3 4 5
about other people?
35. How good are you at controlling your temper when having 1 2 3 4 5
a conflict with someone?
36. How good are you at being an interesting and fun person to be 1 2 3 4 5
with when first getting to know people?
37. How good are you at listening while others "let off steam" about 1 2 3 4 5
problems they are going through?
38. How good are you at making decisions about where to go 1 2 3 4 5
or what to do?
39. How good arc you at telling someone what you personally 1 2 3 4 5
think about important issues?
40. How good are you at backing down in a disagreement once it 1 2 3 4 5
becomes clear that he is wrong?
110
Appendix D
IRB Approval
THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS
Institutional Review Board
To: Mandy Morrill-Richard
Counseling, Education Psychology & Research
From: Chair, Institutional Review Board
for the Protection of Human Subjects
Administration 315
Subject: The Influence of Sibling Abuse on Interpersonal Relationships and
Self-Esteem in College Students (E08-362)
Approval Date: June 23, 2008
This is to notify you that the Institutional Review Board has designated the above
referenced protocol as exempt from the full federal regulations. This project was
reviewed in accordance with all applicable statutes and regulations as well as
ethical principles.
When the project is finished or terminated, please complete the attached Notice
of Completion and send to the Board in Administration 315.
Approval for this protocol does not expire. However, any change to the protocol
must be reviewed and approved by the board prior to implementing the change.
Chair, Institutional Review Baarcj)
The University of Memphis
B ^
Dr. N. Nishimura
111