Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sisters serve as confidants, mentors, sources of support during intimate conversations

Date:
October 15, 2013
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Sisters often take on key roles of confidants, sources of support and mentors during conversations about romantic relationships, a researcher has found.

Adolescence can be an impressionable time for girls as they begin forming ideas about dating and sexuality. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found that sisters often take on key roles of confidants, sources of support and mentors during conversations about romantic relationships. Sisters may be helpful in health education efforts to promote safe-sex practices and healthy romantic relationships.

"Our findings indicate that sisters play important roles as adolescent girls form ideas about romantic relationships and sexuality," said Sarah Killoren, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at MU and the study's lead author. "Sisters are important communication partners when it comes to these sensitive topics."

Killoren says that older sisters should be included in family-oriented programs designed to help teens make better choices, such as abstaining from intercourse, practicing safe sex or developing healthy romantic relationships.

Killoren found sisters most frequently played the role of confidant. Sisters displayed this role by giving information about themselves and by asking for more information about their sisters' lives. The disclosures made during their conversations revealed levels of intimacy between sisters, Killoren said. The second role, sources of support, was displayed when sisters encouraged their siblings' ideas about dating and sexuality. The mentor role was displayed when sisters served as role models for one another, most frequently by giving advice.

"Given their age, older sisters were more likely to have advice to share and have romantic relationships and sexual experiences from which their younger sisters can learn," Killoren said.

Younger sisters commonly reported learning from older sisters' experiences, especially their older sisters' negative dating and sexual experiences, Killoren said.

"Younger sisters frequently commented on their older sisters' negative experiences, such as teen pregnancy and abusive relationships, and made decisions to be different," Killoren said. "Learning only from negative experiences could occur because younger sisters only consciously identify the experiences of their sisters that they do not want to repeat."

Sisters share similar views on dating and sex, which is partly because they have grown up in the same home, Killoren said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sarah Killoren. Sibling Conversations about Dating and Sexuality: Sisters as Confidants, Sources of Support, and Mentors. Family Relations, October 2013

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Sisters serve as confidants, mentors, sources of support during intimate conversations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015134924.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2013, October 15). Sisters serve as confidants, mentors, sources of support during intimate conversations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015134924.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Sisters serve as confidants, mentors, sources of support during intimate conversations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015134924.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins