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Sibling Conflict

  • By: Nicole Campione-Barr
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Interpersonal conflict involves opposition and disagreement between two or more individuals, often over desires or ideas, as well as involving some aspect of emotional investment. Conflict among siblings is unique, however, because of the nature of the relationship. While siblings are similar to other familial relationships in that they are obtained and not chosen, siblings are often the longest relationship individuals have over the course of the life span and they have both complimentary (e.g., caretaking of younger siblings by older siblings) and egalitarian (e.g., playmate, confidant) roles and functions. It is this combination of features that likely leads to the sibling bond being frequently described as a love-hate relationship. Previous research has found that when compared to other major social relationships in a child's ...

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