Defensiveness in Response to Aid From a Sibling

Eileen Searcy, Nancy Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Defensive reactions to aid in the context of a close relationship were studied. Young adult siblings reported on their self-esteem, the quality of the sibling relationship, relevant demographic variables, and a variety of components of defensiveness to aid. Consistent with theory, the components of defensiveness were interrelated. A large percentage (52%) of the variance in defensiveness was accounted for by conflict between siblings, dominance relative to one's sibling, low global self-esteem, high self-esteem when comparing oneself with one's sibling, and low levels of feelings of entitlement. Siblings were least defensive in reaction to aid from older and female siblings. Corroboration from a subset of benefactor siblings was obtained. The results are discussed in relation to recent thinking about the nature of receiving support in close relationships and recipients' reactions to aid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-433
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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