Jacobs Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science

Growing up Among Caring Others: Sib-Care in Zambia and the Netherlands

Published on: 2016-04-18


Cultural and gender differences in sib-care and attachment were explored using a retrospective survey instrument comparing Zambian ( n = 200) and Dutch ( n= 194) college students. Students from the University of Zambia and Leiden University, respectively. The total study sample (N = 394). Four main hypotheses were tested: Zambian participants performed more sib-care than the Dutch participants; female participants performed more sib-care than male participants, both among the Zambian and Dutch groups; larger family size was associated with more sib-care; and securely attached participants performed more sib-care than their less securely attached peers. Results indicated that sib-care was prevalent in both Zambian and Dutch samples. Zambian participants performed more sib-care than Dutch subjects, with females performing more care than males, both when parents were at home (F(2, 244) = 62.09, p < .01) and when parents were not at home (F(2, 237) = 51.28, p < .01). Family size and attachment related avoidance and anxiety were not significant predictors of sib-care. It was concluded that sib-care is understudied, not only in Western societies but also in Africa and that females perform more sib-care than males, especially when the parents are not at home. In addition, attachment related security appears to be more related to the quality than the quantity of care provided.


Sibling; Sib-Care; Attachment; Zambia; the Netherlands