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Sibling Deidentification Judged by Mothers: Cross-Validation and Developmental Studies

Frances Fuchs Schachter, Gabi Gilutz, Ellen Shore and Michelle Adler
Child Development
Vol. 49, No. 2 (Jun., 1978), pp. 543-546
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1128728
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1128728
Page Count: 4
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Sibling Deidentification Judged by Mothers: Cross-Validation and Developmental Studies
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Abstract

A previous study of sibling deidentification in undergraduates was cross-validated on a new population, mothers judging pairs of their own children; at a new age level, averaging 6.4 years; and using same-opposite as well as alike-different judgments. The design also included a developmental study. Judgments of 95 mothers with 2 children and 45 with 3 cross-validate previous findings. (1) Percentage deidentification was significantly higher for first pairs (first 2 children) than jump pairs (first and third children), with intermediate levels for second pairs (second and third children). (2) Deidentification was higher for same-than opposite-sex siblings among first pairs. (3) Global judgments covary with semantic differential polarization scores. Developmental analysis indicates a linear increment until age 6, when deidentification stabilizes at extremely high levels for first pairs. Opposite and different judgments covary. Results support the hypothesis that deidentification is a defense against sibling rivalry, although an alternative explanation, that mothers impose deidentification on their children, merits consideration.

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