Sibling Influences on Math Achievement


  • Madison Poisall Florida State University
  • Mia C. Daucourt Florida State University
  • Sara A. Hart Florida State University


Many scholars have conducted studies to understand the overall role more knowledgeable others play in children’s academic achievement. According to Bandura’s (1977) social learning theory, individuals learn by observing and imitating the behaviors of those around them, including their older siblings. The present study examined the older sibling-younger sibling relationship in an academic context by investigating how younger siblings’ math achievement, measured by the Elementary Mathematics Student Assessment (EMSA), was linked to older sibling’s warmth, academic socialization, and academic support behaviors. The sample was drawn from the Parent Experiences, Attitudes, and Learning in Math (PEALM) study, a parentreport, questionnaire-based study, and included 82 children who ranged from kindergarten to third grade. Pearson correlations showed that two (sibling warmth and sibling academic support behaviors) of the three variables were negatively associated with younger siblings’ math achievement. Then, two regression models demonstrated that the separate sibling scales as well a composite scale comprised of all three component measures of sibling influences did not significantly predict younger siblings’ math achievement. These findings show that sibling warmth and sibling academic support behaviors play an overall negative role in younger siblings’ math achievement and sibling academic socialization plays a positive role, however no one aspect of the older sibling-younger sibling relationship is driving this relation and none of the associations were found to be statistically significant.






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