Associations among Mexican-origin youth’s sibling relationships, familism and positive values, and adjustment problems.

Sarah E. Killoren, Lorey A. Wheeler, Kimberly A. Updegraff, Susan M. McHale, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Finding ways to protect youth from maladjustment during adolescence and young adulthood is important, and youth of Mexican descent are key targets for such efforts given that they experience higher rates of depressive symptoms, risky behaviors, and sexual risk behaviors compared to youth from other ethnic/racial groups. Using a sample of younger (Mage Time 1 = 12.77 years) and older (Mage Time 1 = 15.70 years) siblings from an 8-year longitudinal study of 246 Mexican-origin families, we conducted path analyses to test whether older siblings’ reports of sibling intimacy predicted younger siblings’ later positive values and adjustment problems controlling for prior adjustment and maternal and paternal warmth. Additionally, we tested whether younger siblings’ familism values moderated and their positive values mediated the sibling intimacy to adjustment problem linkages. Findings revealed that sibling intimacy in early adolescence predicted younger siblings’ adjustment problems in young adulthood via their positive values in later adolescence, but only for younger siblings with strong familism values. This study highlights the importance of examining promotive factors, such as positive relationship qualities and familism values, and how positive values protect against problems in young adulthood. Results also have practical implications for prevention programs including the utility of promoting positive sibling relationships and values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-583
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021


  • Latino/a/x families
  • adolescence
  • familism and positive values
  • sibling relationships
  • young adulthood risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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