In the last decade, the significance of siblings in children's development and adjustment has been widely recognized, and research on brothers and sisters has increased dramatically. Bringing together exciting research on siblings by leading developmental psychologists and clinicians, this volume's contributions were originally presented at the First International Symposium on Siblings held in Leiden. This book focuses on both the significance of siblings as influences on individual development, and on the importance of the relationship in families with sick, disabled or troubled children. It covers the recent developmental research with chapters on the development of sibling relationships in early and middle childhood, the links between sibling relationships and those with parents, peers and friends, and the influence of siblings on children's adjustment. It then focuses on clinical issues such as siblings as sources of support for unhappy or sick children, or for children in disharmonious homes, and the vulnerability of siblings of disabled children. These clinical issues are discussed in practical terms by leading practitioners.
Clear in presentation, comprehensive in its coverage of the exciting recent research, and full of practical insights, this volume brings to light important developmental principles, and raises questions regarding the assumptions about family processes and how different relationships within the family affect one another. For family researchers, those interested in the individual development of children, and for clinicians concerned about the impact of troubled or disabled children on their siblings or the potential of siblings as therapists, this book will be the key. No other book covers the recent research in this important topic and discusses the clinical issues in depth and in practical terms.
"With the creation of an interdisciplinary volume including both developmental and clinical themes and by limiting the issue to relationships, Boer and Dunn have made a unique contribution to the literature. The range of topics pursued within the issue of sibling relationships is large….contains excellent review articles…."
"…an excellent source of recent research on childhood sibling relationships…important reading for researchers and practitioners interested in how relationships with siblings affect children's development…noteworthy in the consistency and depth with which sibling relationships are explored. The relevance of the issues considered and the findings presented combine to make the book of value both to active workers in the field of sibling relationships and to those new to the field."
—Journal of Marriage and the Family
"…includes excellent literature reviews, original field and clinical research, and theory about sibling relationships….an excellent summary of current research and theory, deserves serious attention from those who shape family ministry programs."
—Review and Expositor
Contents: P.D.A. Treffers, Foreword. J. Dunn, Introduction. Part I:Developmental Issues. J. Dunn, Sisters and Brothers: Current Issues in Developmental Research. D. Buhrmester, The Developmental Courses of Sibling and Peer Relationships. F. Boer, A.W. Goedhart, P.D.A. Treffers, Siblings and Their Parents. B.K. Bryant, Sibling Caretaking: Providing Emotional Support During Middle Childhood. T. Falbo, Social Norms and the One-Child Family: Clinical and Policy Implications. Part II:Clinical Issues. S.M. McHale, V.S. Harris, Children's Experiences With Disabled and Nondisabled Siblings: Links With Personal Adjustment and Relationship Evaluations. A. Gath, The Brothers and Sisters of Mentally Retarded Children. W. Vandereycken, E. Van Vreckem, Siblings as Co-Patients and Co-Therapists in Eating Disorders. J. Jenkins, Sibling Relationships in Disharmonious Homes: Potential Difficulties and Protective Effects. S. Bank, Remembering and Reinterpreting Sibling Bonds. F. Boer, Epilogue.