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Since the emergence of developmental psychology theorists and researchers have stressed the familys role in shaping the childs emergent social style personality and cognitive competence Psychologists in doing so adopted an idiosyncratic definition of family Lamb Sutton-Smith 1982 where the focus is on the parents and mostly the mothers It took time to realize that most families contain two parents and at least two children Along with this realization it was seen that children develop in a context of different networks of social relationships within which each person may affect every other directly through their interactions and indirectly through As effect on B who then influences C Lamb Sutton-Smith 1982 A social network like the family is embedded in a broader network of relations with relatives neighbors and social institutions Within the family relationships among siblings hasnt received much attention until not so long ago The relationship between siblings is one that is characterized by distinctive emotion and intimacy from infancy onwards This relationship offers children unique opportunity for learning about self and other and it is one that has potential for affecting children s well-being intimately associated as it is to the relationship each child has with the parent Boer Dunn 1992 Furthermore the relationship between brothers and sisters are infinitely varied Their love or hate their envy or compassion their closeness or rivalry are formed in childhood These bonds last throughout life and at the same time create character and inform behavior in a multitude of situations Bank Kahn 1982 Brooks 1999 This brings me to the following issues I will address First what evidence is present for the continuation of the sibling relationship across the lifespan and for sibling influence from childhood to adulthood Secondly I will discuss how attachment theory can be extended to siblings Before doing so it is important to give an overview of the course of the sibling relationship over the lifespan It
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