Eighteen 2- to 6-year old boys living in father-absent households (due to marital separation or divorce) with an older brother or sister, and 18 age-matched boys with their older siblings from married-parent families participated in this study. Each sibling pair played with a set of age-appropriate toys in a laboratory playroom with their mothers present. There were no significant effects of parental marital status on play behaviour. Boys and their older brothers interacted significantly more frequently than boys and their older sisters. There was a significant marital status by sex of older sibling interaction, indicating that boys from married-parent families interacted more with their older brothers than with their older sisters, but boys from separated/ divorced families did not show this same sex preference. These results suggest that studies of children which are confined to middle class, two-parent nuclear families may well be limited in their generalizability.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
|Published - Jul. 1989