Didier Robcis / Getty Images

TODAY   |  August 07, 2013

New study blames dads for sibling rivalry

A new study shows that when fathers express preference for one child over another, tension forms between siblings, especially among daughters. Maternal favoritism did not have the same effect.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> dad's opinion matters, at least when it comes to sibling rivalries. do you parents play favorites? did they?

>> not intentionally.

>> they said they loved us all equally.

>> they always say that.

>> what about as parents? have you ever felt you played favorites?

>> i try not to.

>> i try not to but sometimes you get along with one more than the other.

>> okay.

>> parents say they don't.

>> ear muffs.

>> but kids often feel differently. a new study says that when dad seems to prefer one child over another, that causes a higher rate of sibling rivalry , especially among daughters. favoritism by mothers, less likely to provoke tension. now one possible explanation has to do with men's lower life expectancy . adult children may come to value their aging fathers even more as they realize that their time with those fathers might be limited and that might spark competition for affection.

>> that accounts for it later in life. but for little kids.

>> seek dad's approval. especially little girls.

>> unless you're a football player when you score that winning