Academic journal article Journal of Family Studies

Sibling Relationships in Remarried Families

Academic journal article Journal of Family Studies

Sibling Relationships in Remarried Families

Article excerpt

This research project examines how different types of sibling relationships, that is, full siblings, half siblings and stepsiblings, develop within remarried families. The study focuses on three types of sibling solidarity: functional (i.e., instrumental help and assistance); associational (i.e., frequency of contact); and affectual (i.e., emotional closeness). The study further analyzes the effects of sibship size, proximity, birth order, marital status and age and gender on the three forms of solidarity, and relies on five middle range theories (attachment theory, family systems theory, rational choice, social comparison, and evolutionary theory). The study is based on participant observation in a Blended Family Workshop, personal accounts of college freshmen reflecting on their family of orientation, and data from the General Social Survey of 1986, 1994, and 2002. The majority of respondents identify a full sibling close in age (a 3 year difference) as their favorite sibling. When the favorite sibling is a half sibling or stepsibling, the age difference between respondent and sibling is much larger (about 7 and 11 years respectively). The results indicate that full sibling bonds are stronger than half sibling and stepsibling bonds. …

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