Personality and Home Environmental factors in Adult Sibling Rivalry; Influence on Family Stability. Abstract
Sibling rivalry, which is squabble between brothers and sisters of the same parents, has been an issue of concern in the society. Studies have shown that the home environment and personality are at the root of sibling rivalry. The study set out to investigate the factors in the home and personality that engenders rivalry among siblings using 400 respondents made up of 200 adolescents and 200 adults in Nsukka and Igboeze local Government Areas. Sibling Rivalry questionnaire with a four-point scale was used to collect data which was analyzed using percentage, mean scores, standard deviation and‘t’ test statistic. It was found, among others, that preferential treatment and comparison by parents, superiority of older siblings and disobedience of younger siblings cause rivalry. It was recommended among others, that parents should give each child the needed attention, encourage group family fun activities and teach empathy without comparison. Counselors should also intervene by enabling the adolescents explore, analyze and gain understanding of self and significant others to alleviate rivalry amongst them.
The word sibling is used to represent children from the same parents. There are male and female siblings and it is a subsystem of the family. Siblings generally spend more time together during childhood than they do with their parents and develop complicated bonds and relationships grouped, into intimate, congenial, loyal, apathetic and hostile relationships as described by Gold cited in Shriner (1999). In intimate relationship, siblings are especially close and extremely devoted to each other and value their relationship above even their marriage. Although congenial siblings are close and caring, they place more value on their marriage and parent-child relationships. .While loyal siblings base their relationship on having the same family history and maintain regular, periodic contact, apathetic siblings feel indifferent towards one another. They are rarely in contact unlike the loyal siblings who participate in family .gatherings and help each other in times of crisis. Hostile relationships are based on anger, resentment and very negative feelings. In a study on sibling relationships by Gold, 14% of sibling relationships were intimate, 30% loyal, 34% congenial, 11% apathetic and 11% hostile. A duplicate study by Scott (2006), reported that 95% of the respondents had intimate, loyal or congenial relationships while only 5% were apathetic. None of her samples had hostile relationship. Sibling bonds are often assumed to be influenced positively or negatively by factors such as parental expectations for their children and depending on the way children fulfill these expectations, many parents label them – super kid, rascal and stupid among others, engendering rivalry amongst the siblings (Mc Dermott, 1992). Birth order, child rearing practices and personality factors equally engender sibling rivalry which is squabble between brothers or sisters/ brothers and sisters. It can also be defined as competition or animosity among brothers and sisters, blood related or not and intense when children are very close in age, of the same gender, or where one child is intellectually gifted ((wikipedia 2008, Rimm 2002). There are siblings with difficult personalities. Personality according to Hornby (2000) is the various aspects of a person’s character that combine to make him/her different from other people. Ellis (1977) stated that personality is made up of attitudes and beliefs which determine how one behaves and relates with others. Individual personality factors in sibling rivalry include: People who use people – They exploit others for their own benefit and may live with their younger siblings for their service without sending...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document