The Science of Siblings

The Science of Siblings - Siblings 1 The Science of...

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Siblings 1 The Science of Siblings Brittani Chirichella North Carolina State University Professor J. Hartzell ENG 101 Section 003 Spring 2008 Introduction
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Siblings 2 Your parents raise you, and therefore, they have your past. Partners have your future. It is siblings that outlast both relationships. Siblings are there to live on beyond the death of a family member, and are there through every fight with a friend. Studies show siblings to be a significant source of childhood development. Personalities are formed through sibling relationships, whether they are rivalries or alliances. Studies have been performed within gender development, sibling rivalry, role models, and how your siblings affect you more than parents can. While parents are more of an authority figure, a sister or brother can act as a friend. Siblings, however, are closer than friends, because not only do they serve as a playmate, but also a teacher (Recchia & Howe, 2005, p. 497). Children with siblings are largely affected throughout their early development and as their personalities evolve. Families are influenced significantly by the way the children in the family get along and interact with each other. Though the factors which influence a positive sibling relationship are not yet fully known, studies assess how children function in different relationships (Kramer & Kowal, 2005, p. 503). As Howe and Recchia point out, sibling relationships are unique and difficult to thoroughly understand because of the different roles they take on. Siblings can become a friend and playmate as well as a teacher and caretaker. These different types of interactions would allow for both children to influence each other’s own development (Recchia & Howe, 2005, p. 497). The influence of gender, however, depends on the age and sex of the children. According to studies performed by Susan McHale, Kimberly Updegraff, Heather Helms-Erikson and Ann C. Crouter, a sister with an older brother tends to have more masculine traits while a brother with an older sister is more feminine. The personalities of children are different based mainly on the siblings with whom most of their time is spent throughout their developmental period.
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Siblings 3 Sibling Relationship Quality from Birth to Adolescence Kramer and Kowal assessed how the relationships of children with their friends and children with their mothers and fathers differed. By assessing those relationships, those between siblings may be better understood. Sibling relationships tend to strengthen as those with parents or friends weaken. As adolescence approaches, children grow further apart and become less attached to their parents. As this relationship falters, siblings become closer as they sometimes depend on each other while they slip further away from their parents (Kramer & Kowal, 2005, p.
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  • Spring '08
  • Cornett
  • Sibling, siblings, Science of Siblings Brittani Chirichella North Carolina State University, New Science of Siblings Parents

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