Note:  Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Richard Rende, Ph.D., Transdisciplinary Research Group, Butler Hospital, 345 Blackstone Blvd., Providence RI 02906 USA; email: [email protected]
Abstract: Models of sibling effects emphasize the importance of capturing rule breaking behavior in real time. To date, few studies have utilized electronic Ecological Momentary Assessment (e.EMA) as a methodology that allows siblings to record in real time and across everyday settings their patterns of interaction, including rule breaking behavior. Sixty adolescent sibling pairs drawn from a community-based family study completed 2 waves (baseline, 6 month follow-up) of an e.EMA diary. The diary was activated every 30-45 minutes for 6 consecutive days. Data were analyzed using Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE). Both same- and opposite-sex sibling pairs reported rule breaking behavior, particularly when both siblings were at a friends house. Brothers had the highest levels of self-reported rule break. Across all gender compositions, epochs of rule breaking behavior were associated with increases in anger, stress, and sadness. e.EMA is a promising method to study sibling interactions that complement other real time data capture strategies. Rule breaking behavior between adolescent siblings is particularly linked with spending time with mutual friends and with increases in negative emotions; these findings are congruent with current theoretical models of sibling effects on risk behaviors.
Keywords: adolescents, smoking, siblings, real time data, EMA