Het Longitudinale Verband tussen de Broer-zusrelatie met Empathie en Prosociaal Gedrag van Adolescenten: Maakt Geboortevolgorde Uit?
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While it is largely known that the sibling relationship is one of the most long lasting relationships during life, research about this relationship during adolescence remains scarce. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis was to examine if there is a link between the quality of the sibling relationship with adolescent empathy and prosocial behaviour over time. Additionally, this thesis examined whether these effects were moderated by birth order. For this reason, 353 adolescents (57.2% boys; Mage = 13.01 years) and their siblings (43.3% boys; Mage = 14.88 years) completed multiple questionnaires about how they rated the quality of their sibling relationship and adolescents reported on the extent of their empathy and prosocial behaviour during time 1 and time 6. The results revealed that although there is a weak positive correlation between the quality of the sibling relationship and prosocial behaviour at time 1, there is no link between the quality of the sibling relationship and both empathy and prosocial behaviour over time. Moreover, birth order did not moderate these links. The current results indicate that the quality of the sibling relationship may not have an influence on adolescents’ empathy and prosocial behaviour. However, this insight can be used to involve siblings more in future research so that their role in adolescent development becomes more understood. Limitations of this thesis were discussed and recommendations for future research were given.