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Richard GonzalezRichard Gonzalez

Center Director, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research
Director, BioSocial Methods Collaborative, RCGD
Amos N Tversky Collegiate Professor, Psychology and Statistics, LSA
Professor of Marketing, Stephen M Ross School of Business
Professor of Integrative Systems and Design, College of Engineering


E-mail: Email Richard Gonzalez
Address: Research Center for Group Dynamics
Institute for Social Research
University of Michigan
426 Thompson Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106
Phone: 734-647-6785

Will the older sibling be jealous of the new baby?

Feb 7, 2019 | Psychology

Volling, B., Yu, T., Gonzalez, R., Kennedy, D., Rosenberg, L., & Oh, W. (2014). Children’s responses to mother-infant and father-infant interaction with a baby sibling: Jealousy or Joy? Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 634-644. PDF


Firstborn children’s reactions to mother–infant and father–infant interaction after a sibling’s birth were examined in an investigation of 224 families. Triadic observations of parent–infant–sibling interaction were conducted at 1 month after the birth. Parents reported on children’s problem behaviors at 1 and 4 months after the birth and completed the Attachment Q-sort before the birth. Latent profile analysis (LPA) identified 4 latent classes (behavioral profiles) for mother–infant and father–infant interactions: regulated-exploration, disruptive-dysregulated, approach-avoidant, and anxious-clingy. A fifth class, attention-seeking, was found with fathers. The regulated-exploration class was the normative pattern (60%), with few children in the disruptive class (2.7%). Approach-avoidant children had more behavior problems at 4 months than any other class, with the exception of the disruptive children, who were higher on aggression and attention problems. Before the birth, anxious-clingy children had less secure attach- ments to their fathers than approach avoidant children but more secure attachments to their mothers. Results underscore individual differences in firstborns’ behavioral responses to parent–infant interaction and the importance of a person-centered approach for understanding children’s jealousy.