Young adult sibling relationships

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Title: Young adult sibling relationships
Author: Yaktus, Tamara Ranae
Abstract: A survey was conducted of 378 undergraduate students who reported on their "closest" and "least close" sibling relationships . The proposed model included both dyadic relationship variables (relative age , sex of dyad , age spacing ) and systemic family variables (family size , sex of sibship , family type ) . Respondents rated positive and negative qualities of their closest and least close sibling relationships . Chodorow's object -relations theory , based on the traditional family (with the mother as the primary caregiver ) , provided the contextual base for the model . For this study , the theory was expanded to include families in which the father was involved in childcare and /or household tasks . Further , while Chodorow only considers the mother -father -child triad , this study also included same -sex and cross -sex sibling relationships . Contrary to expectations based on the childhood sibling literature , relative age and age spacing were not significant factors in these young adults' sibling relationships . Predictably , there were significant differences between the positive and negative qualities of sibling relationships . Further , participants rated their closest sibling relationship more positively than their least close sibling relationship . However , the two types of relationships differed only minimally on negativity ratings . There were significant correlations between the positive ratings of the closest and least close sibling relationships and between the negative ratings of those relationships . This finding emphasizes the importance of family context in determining sibling relationships . In tests of the proposed model , there were significant interactions between respondent sex , sex of the sibling , and the sibling relationships (closest , least close ) . For ratings of closest siblings , same -sex relationships were more positive , and for male respondents more negative , than were cross -sex relationships . Similarly , having a same -sex closest sibling was associated with more positive and less negative least close sibling relationships regardless of the sex of the least close sibling . Results also suggest sibship sex (all -male , allfemale , mixed -sex ) is important to the closest sibling relationship , while the larger context of family type (egalitarian , modern , traditional ) is important to the least close sibling relationship . Both dyadic and contextual variables , therefore , appear important to understanding the dynamics of young adult sibling relationships .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /20083
Date: 1997-08


Young adult sibling relationships. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /20083 .

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