Adolescent sibling relationships in mexican american families: Exploring the role of familism

Kimberly Updegraff, Susan M. McHale, Shawn D. Whiteman, Shawna M. Thayer, Melissa Y. Delgado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations


To address a significant gap in the literature on normative processes in minority families, the authors studied adolescents' sibling relationships in two-parent Mexican American families and explored connections between sibling relationship characteristics and familism. Participants were 246 adolescent Mexican American sibling pairs who participated in (a) home interviews during which adolescents described their sibling relationships and familism values and (b) a series of 7 nightly phone calls during which adolescents reported their daily activities, including time spent with siblings and family members. Siblings described their relationships as both intimate and conflictual, and daily activity data revealed that they spent an average of 17.2 hr per 7 days in shared activities. Sibling relationship qualities were linked to familism values and practices, and stronger patterns of association emerged for sisters than brothers. Discussion highlights the significance of studying the processes that underlie within-group variations among families of different cultural backgrounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-522
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Adolescence
  • Familism
  • Mexican American families
  • Sibling relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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