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79. Using an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model to test the Association Between Sibling Relationship Quality and Depression Severity
Depression is often associated with poorer quality relationships. Relative to romantic or parent-offspring relationships, sibling relationships are critical but often overlooked. Additionally, both siblings’ perceptions of that relationship could affect their respective depressive symptoms. Actor-Partner Interdependence Models (APIMs) can test these independent effects, as APIMs differentiate the effects of actors (variables in self) and partners (variables in others). Eighty-two adult sibling dyads completed the Lifetime Sibling Relationship Scale (which yields separate ratings of relationship quality in adulthood vs. childhood). Depression was assessed with the Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms. Sibling pairs demonstrated high agreement for both childhood and adult relationship quality (both ICCs > .93). APIMs found that after controlling for gender, childhood relationship quality had a significant actor effect on one’s depressive symptoms (b = -.32, p < .05) even after adjusting for adult relationship quality (b = -.31, p < .05). However, the quality of one’s sibling relationship as adults yielded null actor effects on depression. There were no partner effects in any model. Taken together, these results highlight the importance of one’s childhood relationship with their sibling on adult depressive symptoms. Further analyses will examine potential moderating effects of personality traits (e.g. neuroticism) on these associations.