Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Elena P. Bastidas

Second Advisor

Neil H. Katz

Third Advisor

Robin Cooper


This dissertation presents the results of a grounded theory study of the key factors of sibling conflict when caregiving for an aging parent. Following interviews with 30 participants, I conducted initial coding, focused coding and theoretical coding, which led to the development of a theory that explains the relationship of conflict factors such as: beliefs & values, feelings & emotions, roles & expectations, and behaviors & responses. The dissertation includes a discussion of how birth order theories, power theories and psychodynamic theories apply to sibling conflict. In addition, I discuss how the findings apply to conflict resolution skills and offer recommendations of how emotional intelligence, reflective listening, interest-based problem solving, assertion and personal reflections may expand people’s capacity to improve how they manage sibling conflict during the caregiving process.