Study: The Big Impact of Latino Sibling Interactions On Adult Personality


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Happy Young Hispanic Family in Front of Their New Home.About 20% of Latina moms have four or more children compared to 18% of black mothers and 11% of non-Hispanic white mothers, LatinaLista reports.

How does sibling interaction affect Latinos into adulthood?

A recent study by the University of Missouri studied Mexican-American siblings ages 12-15 over a period of 5-8 years to determine what kind of impact their interaction had in their adulthood personality.

“Individuals learn how to interact with others based on the relationships they have with their siblings,” said Dr. Sarah Killoren, an assistant professor of human development and family science at the University of Missouri and study leader. “Siblings who are hostile and negative with one another will use that interaction style with their peers. Most peers won’t respond well to hostility and negativity so these youth may be more likely to hang out with a deviant peer group and, in turn, engage in risky behaviors.”

Latino youth are the perfect study subjects because “research shows Mexican-origin siblings spend more time with their brothers and sisters than with their parents and their peers during adolescence,” Killoren said.

“The longest-lasting relationships individuals can have are with their siblings,” she said. “It’s important to develop and maintain close relationships in adolescence because they are important throughout the lifespan, especially after siblings lose parents and spouses.”

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