Sibling Relationships and Influences in Childhood and Adolescence

Susan M. McHale, Kimberly Updegraff, Shawn D. Whiteman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

136 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The authors review the literature on sibling relationships in childhood and adolescence, starting by tracing themes from foundational research and theory and then focusing on empirical research during the past 2 decades. This literature documents siblings' centrality in family life, sources of variation in sibling relationship qualities, and the significance of siblings for child and adolescent development and adjustment. Sibling influences emerge not only in the context of siblings' frequent and often emotionally intense interactions but also by virtue of siblings' role in larger family system dynamics. Although siblings are building blocks of family structure and key players in family dynamics, their role has been relatively neglected by family scholars and by those who study close relationships. Incorporating study of siblings into family research provides novel insights into the operation of families as social and socializing systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-930
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Volume74
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

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adolescence
childhood
family research
Siblings
Adolescence
Childhood
large family
family structure
empirical research
adolescent
interaction

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Childhood/children
  • Family process
  • Sibling relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

Cite this

Sibling Relationships and Influences in Childhood and Adolescence. / McHale, Susan M.; Updegraff, Kimberly; Whiteman, Shawn D.

In: Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 74, No. 5, 10.2012, p. 913-930.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McHale, Susan M. ; Updegraff, Kimberly ; Whiteman, Shawn D. / Sibling Relationships and Influences in Childhood and Adolescence. In: Journal of Marriage and Family. 2012 ; Vol. 74, No. 5. pp. 913-930.
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