The Impact of Maternal Parenting Style on Sibling Relationship: A Transnational Study on Two-child Families of China and the UK


This study, through a survey of 107 two-child families in China and the UK, aimed to explore the differences, similarities, and associations between sibling relationships and maternal parenting styles from a transnational point of view. A total number of 107 mothers (UK: N = 55; China: N = 52) with two children in the UK and China were administered a battery of online questionnaires respectively. The results did not show significant differences in the quality of sibling relationships between the two countries. Conflict and competitive behaviours among siblings greatly outnumbered warmth-related ones for both countries. In terms of maternal parenting style, authoritarian and permissive parenting styles were more dominant in both China and the UK compared with the authoritative style. However, British mothers tend to be more authoritarian than their Chinese counterparts towards both older and younger children. Although significant transnational correlations were found on the associations between maternal parenting style and the quality of sibling relationships, the authoritative parenting style was found to be more conducive to reducing the conflict behaviours between siblings in the UK, while the authoritarian parenting style of Chinese mothers turned out to be more effective. The above findings deepen our understanding of the association of parenting style with sibling relationships. Suggestions on parenting practice to improve the quality of sibling relationships are also offered.

Author Information
Huichao BI, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China
Jiajun LIU, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China
Rong Yan, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2022
Stream: Interdisciplinary

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon