Effect of Age and Gender Differnce on Siblings

Effect of Age and Gender Differnce on Siblings

  • Submitted By: arnimab
  • Date Submitted: 10/04/2008 8:40 AM
  • Category: Psychology
  • Words: 714
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 2

Findings from BBC and The Open University show that conflict and competition between siblings is often present except when the age gap between the two is extremely large (Cutting, 2008). Dr. Alex Cutting is a developmental psychologist who specializes in social and cognitive development and whose research focuses on children's understanding of other people and their relationships with each other. She believes that generally an age gap between two to four years results in more arguments and more outward aggression between the two siblings due to the fact that the siblings might have comparable lives. In addition, the studies state that for the most part same gender siblings tend to argue and fight more than opposite sex siblings (Cutting, 2008).

Dr. Alfred Adler, an expert on sibling relationships has a few of his own theories. He believes that gender is a key aspect in determining how well siblings get along with each other (Adler, 2008). Dr. Adler has come to the conclusion that same sex siblings are usually more intimate and caring towards each other, where as most of the time mixed sex pairs have a larger percentage of negative interactions than positive interactions. However, he does note that sometimes opposite gender siblings can avoid conflict because the parents treat them differently. On the other hand, parents tend to treat same gender siblings similarly, which sometimes creates more competition between the two siblings. In other words, parents tend to have different expectations for boys and girls. Therefore, if the siblings are both boys or both girls, parents will expect the two children to behave similar to each other and have the same result. These outlooks often create the conflict between the same gender siblings, where as for opposite sex siblings, parents tend to imagine different prospects for the two children. (Adler, 2008)

Psychologists Dr. Judith Dunn and Dr. Laurie Kramer present slightly dissimilar views in on this topic in...

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