Capturing the Temporal Sequence of Interaction in Young Siblings

Michal Perlman, Mark Lyons-Amos, George Leckie, Fiona Steele, Jennifer Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
298 Downloads (Pure)


We explored whether young children exhibit subtypes of behavioral sequences during sibling interaction. Ten-minute, free-play observations of over 300 sibling dyads were coded for positivity, negativity and disengagement. The data were analyzed using growth mixture modeling (GMM). Younger (18-month-old) children's temporal behavioral sequences showed a harmonious (53%) and a casual (47%) class. Older (approximately four-year-old) children's behavior was more differentiated revealing a harmonious (25%), a deteriorating (31%), a recovery (22%) and a casual (22%) class. A more positive maternal affective climate was associated with more positive patterns. Siblings' sequential behavioral patterns tended to be complementary rather than reciprocal in nature. The study illustrates a novel use of GMM and makes a theoretical contribution by showing that young children exhibit distinct types of temporal behavioral sequences that are related to parenting processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0126353
Number of pages21
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2015


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    Rintoul, D. A.


    Project: Research

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