Faculty Publications

Title

The effects of early parental death on sibling relationships in later life

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Omega: Journal of Death and Dying

Volume

49

Issue

2

First Page

131

Last Page

148

Abstract

The present study draws on elements of kinship and life course perspectives to examine the influence of parental death during childhood on adult sibling contact and closeness. Using data from the National Survey of Families and Households (N = 3,684), comparisons are made between adults who experienced early parental death and those with no history of childhood family disruptions, and between adults who experienced early maternal death and those who experienced paternal death during childhood. Results from Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression analyses indicate that adults who experienced parental death during childhood do not have more sibling contact, but are closer to their siblings in adulthood than adults who grew up in intact families. In addition, adults who experienced maternal death during childhood have less sibling contact than adults who experienced paternal death, but there are not differences between these two groups in terms of closeness. These findings indicate that it is important to assess the long-term impact of early parental death on adult outcomes and that gender of the deceased parent may have more significant implications for some dimensions of adult sibling relationships than others.

Original Publication Date

12-1-2004

DOI of published version

10.2190/BTUQ-011V-ANEW-V7RT

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