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


aging, conflict management, conflict resolution, interpersonal conflict, sibling conflict, social problems


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.