Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Family Science and Human Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Sara E. Goldstein

Committee Member

Chih-Yuan Lee

Committee Member

Carrie Masia


Sibling relationships are one of the longest lasting, close relationships individuals have over the life span. Common in emerging adulthood (ages 18-25 years), life transitions (such as college, marriage, and parenthood) can greatly impact the dynamics within the sibling relationship, and may cause a shift in the relationship trajectory. Individuals who have a sibling living with a chronic illness or developmental disability may experience greater difficulty in adjusting to new life transitions because they often worry about their sibling’s needs and future accomplishments. The current study explored the relationship between flourishing and sibling relationship quality among emerging adults who have a sibling living with and without a chronic illness or disability. Results suggest sibling support and closeness are positively related to flourishing and negatively associated with the prevalence of sibling chronic illness or developmental disability. Further research is needed to examine and explore the myriad complexities of the sibling relationship within the context of mental and physical health.

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