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The Effects of Sibling Status on Sibling Interaction: Influence of Birth Order, Age Spacing, Sex of Child, and Sex of Sibling
Ann M. Minnett, Deborah Lowe Vandell and John W. Santrock
Vol. 54, No. 4 (Aug., 1983), pp. 1064-1072
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129910
Page Count: 9
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73 children 7-8 years old were videotaped as they interacted with a sibling in cooperative, competitive, and neutral situations. The effects of 4 factors-the children's birth order (first- or second-born), the age spacing of the dyad (1-2 or 3-4 years), the children's sex, and the siblings' sex-on the 7-8-year-olds' behavior were explored. Firstborn 7-8-year-olds were more likely to praise and teach their siblings, while their second-born counterparts showed more joyful behavior and self-deprecation. The 7-8-year-olds were more aggressive with a closely spaced sibling and showed more positive behaviors and affection with a widely spaced sibling. Girls were more likely to praise and teach their sibling, while boys were more likely to engage in neutral behaviors. Cheating, aggression, and dominance were more characteristic of the children's behaviors with a same-sex sibling than with an opposite-sex sibling. It was concluded that children's experience of the sibling relationship varies systematically with sibling status.
Child Development © 1983 Society for Research in Child Development