Sibling Interaction and Behavior Study (SIBS)


The Sibling Interaction and Behavior Study (SIBS) is a study of adoptive and biological siblings and their parents. 617 families participated in the intake phase of this study. The primary purposes of this study are to understand how siblings interact and influence one another, how family environment has an impact on the psychological health of adolescents, and how adoptive families are similar to and different from non-adoptive families.

SIBS is one of the largest studies of adolescents and their families ever conducted and the first study of its kind. Through sharing their unique experiences with us, each participant contributes to our groundbreaking research.

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Why SIBS Research is Important and Valuable

We hope to combine the findings from the SIBS study with the research we have been doing with the Minnesota Twin Family Study, as this will give us a more complete picture of the environmental and genetic influences on adolescent development. Unlike our twin studies, the SIBS study focuses on adoptive children who do not share their genetic blueprint with other members of their adoptive family. Accordingly, any similarities between an adopted child and his/her genetically unrelated siblings must be due to similarities in experiences. Studying adoptive families allows us to further determine and describe the important environmental experiences children share apart from shared genetic influences.

It is also important to understand the experiences of biologically related families, which is why the SIBS study also includes biological siblings. Unlike our twin families, our biological SIBS families have a sibling pair with an age difference, allowing us to better understand sibling influences on behavior- a research field previously untapped!