Contact Details

Current Projects

Emerging Adult Study

    Beginning in Fall 2012, we are collecting data from first year college students about their relationships with mothers, fathers, siblings, best friends and romantic partners. Additionally, for first-born, first-year college students, we are also collecting data about the sibling relationship from their second-born siblings still at home.  The study seeks to examine how close relationships change during the transition to college and how changes may be similar or different across relationships.  

  •      Funded by a Faculty Incentive Grant from the A&S Alumni Association

Sibling Relationships Study

    Data collection for the Sibling Relationships Study was completed in May, 2012.  Participants included 102 adolescent sibling pairs (mostly in middle school and high school) with both siblings still living in the home.  We are currently coding and analyzing data from this project regarding how (and regarding what) sibling communicate and interact and how these interactions impact adolescents' adjustment.   

  • Funded by a Research Council Grant from the University of Missouri

Parents and Siblings Relationship Study

     Data collection for the Parents and Siblings Relationship Study was completed in July, 2011.  Participants included 145 families with first-born children in 8th, 10th, or 12th grades (at Wave 1) who had second-born siblings less than 5 years younger.  We are currently coding and analyzing data from this project.  Specific investigations include how the content of sibling conflicts differentially impacts adolescent depression, anxiety and self-esteem, as well as differentially associated with constructive and destructive conflict interaction styles.  Additionally, we are investigating how adolescent autonomy development may differ by adolescent birth order within the family. 

  • Wave 1 funded by the Department of Psychological Sciences at MU and a Summer Research Fellowship through the MU Research Council.
  • Wave 2 funded by a Faculty Incentive Grant from the A&S Alumni Association, the Richard Wallace Faculty Development Grant from the MU Alumni Association, and a Research Board Grant from the University of Missouri System.
  • Wave 3 funded by a 1 year extension of a Research Board Grant from the University of Missouri System.
  • Wave 4 funded by a Research Council Grant and a Summer Research Fellowship through the MU Research Council.

Teens and Their Families Study

     This study, conducted at the University of Rochester, included 118 families with 7th and 10th grade students (half were the first-born children in their families and half were later-born children) as well as one sibling and one parent.  We are currently coding and analyzing data from this project.  Specific investigations include the content of adolescent siblings' conflicts, differences in autonomy development for first- and later-born adolescents, and differences in observer and family member reports of the quality of family member interactions.

  • Funded by the Fetzer Institute (grant awarded to Judith G. Smetana, Ph.D., University of Rochester).