Perceived social support in adjustment to college: the role of the sibling

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Clinical Psychology


Department of Psychology


Advisor: Carolyn E. Roecker Phelps


The present study examined perceived social support from siblings as a predictor of adjustment to college. The transition from high school to college can be a distressing time for some if stressors and new challenges are not addressed adaptively. Perceived social support has been identified as an important resource for adjustment to college. Family support has specifically been studied; however, most of the research has examined support from parents. The sibling relationship is a less-studied dyad of the family. To our knowledge, there has been minimal research on how siblings help one another with transitions through life, specifically the transition into college. This study extended research on perceived social support by examining the sibling relationship. We also examined perceived social support from parents in order to see if this relationship was additive or whether one relationship, sibling or parent, fosters better adjustment. Results indicated that there was no significant relationship between perceived social support from a sibling and adjustment to college. However, social support from a sibling was related to a stronger relationship with that sibling.


Brothers and sisters Family relationships, Student adjustment, College students Social networks, Undergraduates Social networks, Psychology; perceived social support, adjustment to college, sibling relationships

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2013, author