Childhood co-residence and relationship quality among half siblings in Germany

Antti O. Tanskanen & Mirkka Danielsbacka


It is argued that childhood co-residence duration is one of the most important kin detection mechanisms among siblings and thus should influence the relationship quality between siblings. However, this prediction has rarely been examined in half siblings. Here, data from the German Family Panel (Pairfam) sibling module were used to detect whether childhood co-residence duration predicts relationship quality among adult half siblings. Relationship quality was measured by contact frequency, emotional closeness and intimacy. Individuals who had co-resided with their half siblings during childhood reported better relationship quality with these siblings compared to individuals who had not co-resided with half siblings. This was the case with all of the sibling relationship quality indicators considered. The findings are discussed in terms of their contribution to sibling relationship quality research.

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