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Sibling Relationships

Sibling relationships reflect a significant bond between children growing up in close proximity to each other, sometimes biologically related and sometimes not. Understanding sibling relationships in the formative years and the factors that influence personality development can be a significant aid to marriage, family, and couple therapists. This entry begins with a brief overview of sibling relationships, followed by a description of how sibling relationships create a blueprint for personality. Next, the concept of psychological birth order—that is, how perceptions of place within the family influence sibling relationships—is explained. Finally, the concepts of sibling rivalry and competition are discussed.

Overview of Sibling Relationships

In the United States, the norm is to grow up with siblings, with over 80% of children having one or more brothers or sisters. ...

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