Scientific Evidence


The More Fun with Sisters and Brothers Program, developed by Dr. Laurie Kramer and her students, Program is based on 30 years of research that has worked to identify what it takes to develop successful sibling relationships. This research has not only helped to specify the key factors that best help siblings get along, but also how to best help children learn these capabilities.

There is ample evidence that shows that the More Fun with Sisters and Brothers Program is effective in improving sibling relationships, as well as in helping parents manage the negative emotions that often experience when children are in conflict.

Experimental Interventions in Sibling Relationships

By Laurie Kramer, 2004, in Continuity and Change in Family Relations: Theory, Methods, and Empirical Findings (R.D. Conger, F.O. Lorenz, & K.A.S Wickrama (eds.), Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

In this book chapter, Dr. Kramer discusses a conceptual framework for developing interventions to improve sibling relationship quality. She briefly reviews other interventions and approaches to improving sibling relationships, and talks about the approach of the More Fun with Sisters and Brothers Program. The chapter contains an in-depth description of the skills targeted by MFWSB, and the success of these skills in improving sibling relationship quality.

Improving Emotion Regulation and Sibling Relationship Quality: The More Fun with Sisters and Brothers Program

By Denise Kennedy & Laurie Kramer, 2008, Family Relations, 57, 568-579.

This study looked at role of emotion regulation (ER) in improving sibling relationship quality (SRQ) by evaluating the More Fun With Sisters and Brothers Program. 4- to 8-year-old siblings from 95 families were taught emotional and social competencies. Both emotion regulation and sibling relationship quality improved for participating families, compared to families in the control group who did not participate in the program. Children participating in the program needed less parental direction to control negative emotions and refrain from directing negative actions toward others. Improvements in emotion regulation were linked with more positive sibling relationship quality. Results highlight the value of strengthening children’s emotion regulation processes as a mechanism for promoting prosocial sibling relationships.

The Essential Ingredients of Successful Sibling Relationships: An Emerging Framework for Advancing Theory and Practice

By Laurie Kramer, 2010, Child Development Perspectives.

In this article, Dr. Laurie Kramer highlights that it is important to address skills that help children get along positively with each other, and not just teach them skills to prevent them from engaging in conflict. She presents strategies that can move both theory and practice forward by identifying and developing processes that can help children engage in positive interactions, as well as managing conflict.

Fostering Parents’ Emotion Regulation through a Sibling-Focused Experimental Intervention

By Niyantri Ravindran, Jennifer Engle, Nancy McElwain & Laurie Kramer, 2015, Journal of Family Psychology, 29, 458-468.

This study once again shows that participation in the More Fun with Sisters and Brothers Program improves children’s sibling relationship quality. Additionally, this study found that for families who participated in the program, both mothers and fathers experienced fewer negative emotions in response to sibling conflict, as a result of reduced negative interactions between their children. Mothers also directly benefited from the program, reporting improvements in emotion regulation. Thus, findings indicate that improving children’s sibling relationships may also enhance parents’ abilities to manage the negative emotions they experience when their children are not getting along.