Note:  Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Cheryl Slomkowski, Ph.D., Transdisciplinary Research Group, Butler Hospital, 345 Blackstone Blvd., Providence RI 02906 USA; email: Cheryl_Slomkowski@Brown.edu
Abstract: Siblings represent an important social influence on alcohol use in adolescence. That said, there is a need for studies that examine potential mechanisms by which siblings exert an influence on the likelihood of drinking in adolescence. This paper illustrates a method that utilizes videotaped interaction between sibling dyads along with a micro social coding system that captures rule break behavior between siblings. Sibling interaction was observed in sibling pairs participating in the Iowa Youth and Families Project (IYFP) at baseline; younger sibling use of alcohol was tracked for 3 additional annual assessments. Exposure to older sibling rule break at baseline was associated with later use of alcohol by younger siblings across the 3 annual assessments. Micro social methods hold promise for uncovering processes that underlie sibling contagion for alcohol use in adolescence.
Keywords: adolescents, drinking, siblings, real time data, micro social