Anna Wen Huey Ong, Chee Seng Tan


The Sibling Inventory of Differential Experience (SIDE; Daniels & Plomin, 1985) is a self-report to assess children’s perception of parental differential treatment (PDT). Specifically, SIDE measures two specific constructs of PDT: control and affection. The present study applied both the traditional (two-correlated-factor model) and novel (bifactor) modeling approaches to derive the most optimal measurement structure of the Chinese version of SIDE (SIDE-C). Respondents were 225 primary school students who have only one sibling in the family. Results showed that, while the two-correlated-factor model was acceptable, the bifactor model had a better fit. The bifactor model is preferable in terms of fit indices and the principle of parsimony. Additionally, Omega hierarchical coefficient supported the strength of the general factor over the specific factors of parental differential treatment. The findings not only shed light on the factorial validity of the SIDE-C but also suggest future studies to consider the roles of the general and specific factors of PDT. 

Full Text:



Atzaba-Poria, N., & Pike, A. (2008). Correlates of parental differential

treatment: Parental and contextual factors during middle childhood.

Child Development, 79(1), 217-232.

Chen, F. F., Sousa, K. H., & West, S. G. (2005). Testing measurement

invariance of second-order factor models. Structural Equation Modeling,

(3), 471-492.

Coldwell, J., Pike, A., & Dunn, J. (2008). Maternal Differential Treatment

and Child Adjustment: A Multi‐informant Approach. Social Development,

(3), 596-612.

Daniels, D., & Plomin, R. (1985). Differential experience of siblings in the

same family. Developmental Psychology, 21(5), 747-760.

Daniels, D., Dunn, J., Furstenberg Jr, F. F., & Plomin, R. (1985).

Environmental differences within the family and adjustment differences

within pairs of adolescent siblings. Child Development, 764-774.

Dunn, J., & Stocker, C. (1989). The significance of differences in siblings'

experiences within the family. Family Systems and Life-span

Development, 289-301.

Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in

covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new

alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal,

(1), 1-55.

Jenkins, J. M., Rasbash, J., & O'connor, T. G. (2003). The role of the

shared family context in differential parenting. Developmental

Psychology, 39(1), 99-113.

Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and practice of structural equation

modeling (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.

Kowal, A., & Kramer, L. (1997). Children's understanding of parental

differential treatment. Child Development, 68(1), 113-126.

Lalumière, M. L., Quinsey, V. L., & Craig, W. M. (1996). Why children

from the same family are so different from one another. Human Nature,

(3), 281-290.

Loukas, A., Paulos, S. K., & Robinson, S. (2005). Early adolescent social

and overt aggression: Examining the roles of social anxiety and

maternal psychological control. Journal of Youth and Adolescence,

(4), 335-345.

McHale, S. M., & Pawletko, T. M. (1992). Differential treatment of siblings

in two family contexts. Child Development, 63(1), 68-81.

McHale, S. M., Crouter, A. C., McGuire, S. A., & Updegraff, K. A. (1995).

Congruence between mothers' and fathers' differential treatment of

siblings: Links with family relations and children's well‐being. Child

Development, 66(1), 116-128.

McHale, S. M., Updegraff, K. A., Jackson‐Newsom, J., Tucker, C. J., &

Crouter, A. C. (2000). When does parents’ differential treatment have

negative implications for siblings?. Social Development, 9(2), 149-172.

Meunier, J. C., Roskam, I., Stievenart, M., De Moortele, G. V., Browne, D.

T., & Wade, M. (2012). Parental differential treatment, child’s

externalizing behavior and sibling relationships: Bridging links with

child’s perception of favoritism and personality, and parents’ self-

efficacy. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 29(5), 612-638.

Ng, W. L., Mofrad, S., & Uba, I. (2014). Effect of birth order on the

differential parental treatment of children. Asian Social Science, 10(14),


Ong, A. W. H., Krishnan, S., & Zaman, W. K. (2017). Relational

aggression in sibling context: Scale revision and factor analysis in a

Taiwanese sample. Malaysian Journal of Psychology, 31(1), 67-78.

Plomin, R., Asbury, K., & Dunn, J. (2001). Why are children in the same

family so different? Nonshared environment a decade later. The

Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 46(3), 225-233.

Richmond, M. K., Stocker, C. M., & Rienks, S. L. (2005). Longitudinal

associations between sibling relationship quality, parental differential

treatment, and children's adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology,

(4), 550-559.

Roskam, I., & Meunier, J. C. (2009). How do parenting concepts vary

within and between the families?. European Journal of Psychology of

Education, 24(1), 33-47.

Saudino, K. J., Wertz, A. E., Gagne, J. R., & Chawla, S. (2004). Night and

day: are siblings as different in temperament as parents say they are?.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(5), 698-706.

Scholte, R. H., Engels, R. C., de Kemp, R. A., Harakeh, Z., & Overbeek,

G. (2007). Differential parental treatment, sibling relationships and

delinquency in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 36(5),


Shebloski, B., Conger, K. J., & Widaman, K. F. (2005). Reciprocal links

among differential parenting, perceived partiality, and self-worth: a

three-wave longitudinal study. Journal of Family Psychology, 19(4),


Stauffacher, K., & DeHart, G. B. (2006). Crossing social contexts:

Relational aggression between siblings and friends during early and

middle childhood. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 27(3),


Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th

ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson Education.

Varner, F., & Mandara, J. (2013). Discrimination concerns and

expectations as explanations for gendered socialization in African

American families. Child development, 84(3), 875-890.

Watkins, M. W. (2013). Omega [Computer software]. Phoenix, AZ: Ed &

Psych Associates.

Wills, T. A. (1991). Similarity and self-esteem in downward comparison.

In Versions of this chapter were presented at the Conference on Coping

with Loss Experiences, Trier, West Germany, and in the Symposium"

Current Perspectives on Social Comparison" at the meeting of the

American Psychological Association, New Orleans, LA. Lawrence

Erlbaum Associates, Inc.


  • There are currently no refbacks.


The editors and publisher of Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia have made every possible effort to verify the accuracy of all information contained in this publication. Any opinions, discussions, views and recommendations expressed in the article are solely those of the authors and are not of Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia, its editors or its publisher. Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia, its editors and its publisher will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising therefrom.