The role of sibling aggression during childhood in decision-making during adulthood

Bedwell, Stacey A. and Harrison, Natalie and Fradley, Sara and Brooks, Matthew (2023) The role of sibling aggression during childhood in decision-making during adulthood. Current Psychology. ISSN 1046-1310

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Research shows sibling relationships can influence cognitive development, specifically in terms of high-order processes involved in social functioning. These high-order processes take place in the human prefrontal cortex. While prefrontal connectivity can be influenced by factors experienced during developmental phases, it remains unclear how experiences of aggression towards a sibling in childhood can contribute to high-order processes in adulthood, specifically decision-making. Through two studies, we sought to establish a relationship between sibling aggression and decision-making styles reported in adulthood, as well as real-time risky decision-making. Study 1 examined the relationship between childhood experiences of sibling aggression and high-order function, specifically decision-making. Self-reports from 142 adult participants revealed that using sibling aggression to maintain dominance (ESAS; Harrison, 2017) was linked to avoidant and spontaneous decision-making (GDMS; Scott & Bruce, 1995). The findings reported here indicate a possible role of sibling aggression in the development of avoidant and spontaneous decision-making styles. Study 2 investigated the relationship between childhood sibling aggression (ESAS; Harrison, 2017) and performance in risky decision-making tasks (IOWA gambling task; Bechara et al., 2000) among 75 adult participants. It revealed that experiences of sibling aggression did not predict risky decision-making. These findings indicate that the types of decisions made may be influenced by childhood sibling aggression, but not the level of risk involved in decisions made.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
27 February 2023Accepted
9 March 2023Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cognitive development, Decision-making, Prefrontal cortex, Sibling aggression, Executive function
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2023 12:17
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2023 12:17

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