An exploratory investigation of jealousy in the family

Krystyna S. Aune
Jamie Comstock, Butler University

Final definitive version available at Taylor & Francis.


A self-report instrument assessed an incident in which respondents experienced a threat to their relationship with a family member. The nature of the relationship with the family member was explored along with the experience, the emotional responses and coping behaviors, the degree of expression, perceived appropriateness, and the effects on the relationship. Results show that 52% of respondents experienced a jealousy incident in the family. Almost 50% of the incidents involved the respondent's sibling (approximately 30% sisters, 20% brothers), and more than 20% involved the respondent's mother. The perceived appropriateness of, and degree of jealousy experience were significantly greater than the perceived appropriateness of, and degree of jealousy expression. Feelings of hurt, anger, and exclusion were prevalent, and respondents reported rational and avoidance strategies for coping with the incident.