The Sibling Effect

The Sibling Effect

What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us

Book - 2011
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Explores what scientists and researchers are discovering about sibling bonds, the longest-lasting relationships we have in our lives. Nobody affects us as deeply as our brothers and sisters--not parents, not children, not friends. From the time we--and they--are born, our siblings are our collaborators and co-conspirators, our role models and cautionary tales. They teach us how to resolve conflicts and how not to, how to conduct friendships and when to walk away. Our siblings are the only people we know who truly qualify as partners for life. In this groundbreaking book, renowned science writer Jeffrey Kluger explores the complex world of siblings in a way that is equal parts science, psychology, sociology, and memoir. Based heavily on new and emerging research, The Sibling Effect examines birth order, twin studies, genetic encoding of behavioral traits, emotional disorders and their effects on--and effects from--sibling relationships, and much more.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York, NY : Riverhead Books, 2011
ISBN: 9781594488313
Branch Call Number: 155.92 K714s 2011
Characteristics: 308 p. ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Charlie is often frustratedly confused (is that a phrase?) by his little sister, Sally. He needs to try to understand her better, because according to Mr. Kluger here, sibling relationships are the only true partnerships we have in our lives. So Charlie, rather than throwing that pencil and clipb... Read More »

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Dec 15, 2016

Tedious (why can't non-fiction authors learn that "less is more"?) and so full of exceptions as to say nothing.

mrmervis Mar 31, 2013

Written in an entertaining and easy to read style. Offers some interesting insights to sibling relations.

Jun 05, 2012

It seems obvious, but I hadn't really thought about it until I read this book: your relationships with your siblings will almost certainly be the longest relationships of your life. Your siblings will be with you from early childhood until old age. This book explores the effects that your siblings have on each other. It covers such topics as sibling rivalry and fighting, birth order (first- and last-born tend to get more perks than middle children), parental favouritism, divorce and step- and half-siblings, alloparenting (when older siblings assume some responsibility for looking after younger ones), sexuality (especially whether younger siblings follow in in older siblings' footsteps), twins and only children, and aging.

The research on sibling relationships is relatively new, mostly because they are so difficult to study; there are many variables to consider and they are hard to isolate (gender, socio-economic status, innate personality differences, etc.). The author brings his own experience as the second of four boys into the book, showing how his parents' divorce and re-marriage (which introduced both step-siblings and half-siblings) affected his brothers and him.

If I have one minor point with this work, it's that it tends to focus on broods of three or more siblings. As someone with one sibling, I would have liked to see more about two-child families.

Overall, the writing is clear and simple (Kluger is a science journalist) and engaging. Recommended.


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