Family-focused prevention with Latinos: What about sisters and brothers?

Kimberly A. Updegraff, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor, S. A. Rodríguez De Jesús, Susan M. McHale, Mark F. Feinberg, Sally I.Chun Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Using a randomized, intent-to-treat design, this pilot study examined the feasibility and short-term effects of Siblings Are Special (SIBS) with a sample of 54 low-income Latino families (91% Mexican-origin). Participants were older (M = 10.8 years; SD = .46) and younger siblings (M = 8.4 years; SD = 1.13), and their parents (94% biological mothers), who were randomly assigned within school to the intervention (n = 28) or no-attention control (n = 26) condition. The intervention condition included 12 weekly afterschool sessions (90 min each) for sibling pairs and 3 family nights for parents and siblings (2 hr each). SIBS was designed to enhance sibling relationships via 2 primary intervention targets: (a) children's capacities that underlie positive sibling dynamics, including relationship skills, cognitions, and shared activities; and (b) parenting of siblings, specifically, enhancing positive guidance and involvement and discouraging authoritarian control. Pre- and posttest data were gathered from siblings and parents. Recruitment and implementation data revealed high rates of attendance and completion, and high ratings of parent satisfaction with the program. Further, analyses suggested the program had positive effects of small to modest magnitude on posttest measures of sibling and parent- child relationship quality, parenting of siblings, older siblings' emotional efficacy, and parents' depressive symptoms and parenting stress, controlling for pretest levels of all outcomes and family background characteristics. Discussion addresses the feasibility of sibling-focused programs with low-income Latino families and makes recommendations for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-640
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 14 2016


  • Culture
  • Family
  • Latinos
  • Prevention
  • Siblings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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