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 April 19, 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 April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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