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This chapter explores the integral role that siblings’ multilingual discourse plays across diverse family lives and sites of learning. In discussing key concepts in the field of family studies, young children are viewed as spending as much if not more time with siblings than their parents. This chapter looks at siblings as agentive in shaping the language environment in multilingual families and reflects on research in the area of siblings’ language choices, humour and intimacy as well as sibling rivalry in multilingual discourse. A distinctive feature of sibling relationships is their seriality, and research on the ‘niche’ of each child is looked at in relation to a child’s emerging multilingualism. Siblings’ multilingual discourse is viewed as dynamic and their language practices as in flux as the family grows, moves, or separates. Research on siblings as literacy mediators and studies on their creative multilingualism are examined. This chapter recognises the key role of digital technology in children’s lives and examines siblings’ multilingual discourse in these new digital spaces. New research is shared that investigates how multilingual siblings worked together on an international digital storytelling project.
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the cryopreservation duration (up to 160 months) on the clinical and neonatal outcomes of slow-frozen early-cleavage human embryos. Clinical data collected between February 2013 and August 2017 were included in this retrospective study. Cases were classified into five groups by the duration of cryopreservation: Group 1, 6–12 months; Group 2, 13–36 months; Group 3, 37–60 months; Group 4, 61–84 months; and Group 5, >84 months. The embryo survival rate, implantation rate, clinical pregnancy rate, live-birth rate, newborn sex ratio, singleton gestational age, singleton birth weight and malformation rate were compared between the groups. The cryopreservation duration did not significantly affect the rates of clinical pregnancy (P = 0.119) and live birth (P = 0.354), the newborn sex ratio (P = 0.614) or the singleton gestational age (P = 0.212) and birthweight (P = 0.212). Although decreases in the embryo survival and implantation rates were observed in groups 4 and 5 compared with those in groups 1–3, these differences were not statistically significant (P = 0.329, P = 0.279, respectively). Long-term cryopreservation does not appear to adversely affect the clinical and neonatal outcomes of slow-frozen early-cleavage human embryos.
This chapter chronicles one parent’s journey through discovering that her son had PWS and what that would mean for her family. This chapter describes the patient’s initial diagnosis and the health complications that followed. The writer allows readers a view into her own personal struggles – her fear, her pain, her unwavering devotion to and advocacy for her son’s well-being. The writer gives voice to what it means to be a mother to a child with PWS. She also discusses the impact the medical and behavioral manifestations of the diagnosis has had on her family as a whole. She refers to a “new normal” that defines how they live their lives through the context of the therapies, medical interventions, and behavioral struggles that come with PWS. The chapter helps establish the perspective of those caregivers this book hopes to serve.
There is some evidence that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently co-occurs with immune-mediated conditions including asthma. We aimed to explore the familial co-aggregation of ASD and asthma using different genetically informed designs.
We first examined familial co-aggregation of asthma and ASD in individuals born in Sweden from 1992 to 2007 (n = 1 569 944), including their full- and half-siblings (n = 1 704 388 and 356 544 pairs) and full cousins (n = 3 921 890 pairs), identified using Swedish register data. We then applied quantitative genetic modeling to siblings (n = 620 994 pairs) and twins who participated in the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden (n = 15 963 pairs) to estimate the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to the co-aggregation. Finally, we estimated genetic correlations between traits using linkage disequilibrium score regression (LDSC).
We observed a within-individual association [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.33, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.28–1.37] and familial co-aggregation between asthma and ASD, and the magnitude of the associations decreased as the degree of relatedness decreased (full-siblings: OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.38–1.50, maternal half-siblings: OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.18–1.39, paternal half-siblings: OR 1.05, 95% CI 0.96–1.15, full cousins: OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.03–1.09), suggesting shared familial liability. Quantitative genetic models estimated statistically significant genetic correlations between ASD traits and asthma. Using the LDSC approach, we did not find statistically significant genetic correlations between asthma and ASD (coefficients between −0.09 and 0.12).
Using different genetically informed designs, we found some evidence of familial co-aggregation between asthma and ASD, suggesting the weak association between these disorders was influenced by shared genetics.
Adult children with siblings can share caring for older parents but adult only children face this responsibility alone. Given increased longevity and reliance on informal care-giving, as well as an increase in one-child families, there is a need to investigate only children's care-giving further. Using data from three large-scale British birth cohorts, this paper investigates patterns of parent-care, care intensity and wellbeing at ages 38 and 42 (N = 17,255, N = 16,703; born 1970), 50 and 55 (N = 12,775, N = 11,339; born 1958) and 63 (N = 2,364; born 1946), how sibling composition intersects with gender in relation to care-giving and whether different care-giving patterns are associated with wellbeing. Only children are more likely to provide parent-care and the pattern is consistent with an interpretation that differences by sibling status might increase with age. Provision is gendered, and the sibling group composition matters for involvement. Although care-giving is related to wellbeing, we found no evidence that this differs between only children and those with siblings. The literature on only children has hitherto focused largely on childhood, suggesting that on some outcomes they benefit from a concentration of parental resources. Our results suggest that in middle adulthood parental care needs may instead be concentrated for the only child without the ‘resource’ of siblings. This indicates a need to develop further our understanding of this growing demographic subgroup.
We examine the socioeconomic consequences of discrimination against people of Southern origins during the US Great Migration of the first half of the twentieth century. We ask whether people living in the American North and Midwest in 1940 fared worse with respect to education, occupation, and income if they were perceived to be of Southern origins. We also assess variation in these effects across racial groups and across actual region of origin groups. Using linked data from the 1920 and 1940 US censuses, we compare the life outcomes of about half a million pairs of brothers who differed with respect to the regional origin implied by their first names. For both Whites and Blacks, we find statistically significant associations between outcomes and the regional origin implied by names; regardless of where they were born, men living in the North or Midwest in 1940 did worse if their names implied Southern origins. However, these associations are entirely confounded by family-specific cultural, socioeconomic, and other factors that shaped both family naming practices and life outcomes. This finding—that regional discrimination in the early-twentieth-century United States did not happen based on names—contrasts sharply with findings from research in more recent years that uses names as proxies for people’s risk of exposure to various forms of discrimination. Whereas names are a basis for discrimination in modern times, they were not a basis for regional discrimination in an era in which people had more immediate and direct evidence about regional origins.
Caring for a loved one with an eating disorder typically comes with a multitude of challenges, yet siblings and partners are often overlooked. It is important to understand if current clinical guidance for supporting carers are effective and being utilised for these groups, to help meet their needs.
To identify the experiential perspectives of siblings and partners of a loved one with an eating disorder compared with guidance for improving the adequacy of support provided to carers published by Beat and Academy for Eating Disorders.
Three online focus groups were held for ten siblings and five partners from across the UK (12 females and three males). Carers had experience of caring for a loved one with anorexia nervosa (13 carers) or bulimia nervosa (two carers), across a range of therapeutic settings. Focus group transcriptions were analysed with thematic analysis.
Four key themes were identified: (a) role-specific needs, (b) challenges encountered by siblings and partners, (c) generic needs and helpful strategies or approaches, and (d) accounts of service provision and family support.
Overall, the majority of experiences reported by siblings and partners did not meet the published guidance. Consequently, clinical practice recommendations were identified for services, alongside the charity sector, to take a proactive approach in detecting difficulties, providing skills training and emotional/practical support, adapting/tailoring peer support groups and supporting online facilitation. Our findings part-informed the design of our national online survey on loved ones’ experiences of care in eating disorders.
In Chapter 5, the author examines the role of intimacy between filhas de criação and their biological family members in criação. Challenging misconceptions about criação, she discusses evidence that some filhas de criação run away from their biological homes and to their informally adoptive homes. While, in some cases, filhas de criação are blocked from seeing their biological family members, in many cases, ongoing relationships with their biological families provide the opportunity for siblings to serve as co-conspirators and co-collaborators in each other’s search for freedom and independence. An unexpected finding is also that contact with biological family members may sometimes compel filhas de criação to extend the time that they provide unpaid and exploitative labor to an adoptive family. This chapter reveals the transgressive role that biological siblings can have in the lives of filhas de criação, while also highlighting the capacity for systems of domination to co-opt these same family ties and bonds to secure its proliferation.
In King Lear and Coriolanus Shakespeare shows how parents who shame their children motivate them to commit violence that ultimately consumes the parent and child. To call this a perversion of parental love is virtually an understatement. Lear shames Goneril and Regan by loving Cordelia more than he loves them – so they bring about the deaths of both Lear and Cordelia. And Gloucester shames Edmund, who has his father’s eyes gouged out – an atrocity committed by American murderers we have seen – since people feel shamed in the eyes of others. Coriolanus shows how a mother’s teaching her son to achieve honor through violence ultimately rebounds on her and the very community she meant him to protect.
Quality of life (QOL) instruments can provide unique information on various aspects of children’s everyday functioning beyond clinical symptoms and clinical measures. The study of the QOL in the siblings of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD-siblings) is a new direction in the field of ASD-research.
This study aimed to investigate the QOL in ASD-siblings in comparison with an age and sex matched group of siblings of neurotypical children.
The sample included 233 neurotypical children (8-13 years old) of whom 118 comprised the observational group (ASD-siblings) and 115 comprised the comparison group. The Kidscreen-27 and a demographics questionnaire were administered to all participants.
The two groups differed significantly in all subscales and in the overall score of the Kidscreen-27, with the children in the observation group having a significantly worse quality of life (Mean±sd 111,62±12,43, p<0,001). Additionally, the largest difference in the averages of the subscales occurs in the subscale General Mood and Emotions, where the observation group had significantly lower scores (Mean±sd 23,23±3,69, p<0,001) than the comparison group (Mean±sd 31,27±2,74).
QOL in children has been recognized as an important outcome indicator in detecting subgroups of children at risk within the general population, while ASD-siblings’ QOL is an important concept in the implementation of appropriate services for these children. This study revealed poorer QOL in ASD-siblings and highlighted the importance of assessing QOL in those siblings as well as the use of the Kidscreen-27 as a screening tool in order to detect children at risk of maladjustment.
Few studies have reported real-life data on socio-economic functioning in patients with bipolar disorder and their unaffected first-degree relatives.
We used Danish nation-wide population-based longitudinal register linkage to investigate socio-economic functioning in 19 955 patients with bipolar disorder, their 13 923 siblings and 20 sex, age and calendar-matched control individuals from the general population. Follow-up was from 1995 to 2017.
Patients with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder had lower odds of having achieved the highest educational level [OR 0.75 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.73–0.77)], being employed [OR 0.16 (95% CI 0.159–0.168)], having achieved the 80% highest quartile of income [OR 0.33 (95% CI 0.32–0.35)], cohabitating [OR 0.44 (95% CI 0.43–0.46)] and being married [OR 0.54 (95% CI 0.52–0.55)] at first contact to hospital psychiatry as inpatient or outpatient compared with control individuals from the general population. Similarly, siblings to patients with bipolar disorder had a lower functioning within all five socio-economic areas than control individuals. Furthermore, patients and partly siblings showed substantially decreased ability to enhance their socio-economic functioning during the 23 years follow-up compared to controls.
Socio-economic functioning is substantially decreased in patients with bipolar disorder and their siblings and does not improve during long-term follow-up after the initial hospital contact, highlighting a severe and overlooked treatment gap.
Bullying continuously attracts the interest of school communities, government policy makers and researchers. The present study enquires into the role of basic psychological needs in perpetrating and victimisation behaviour of children and youth in the social contexts of school and family in a cross-sectional research design. Specifically, this study focuses on the direct effects that basic psychological needs might have on bullying behaviour and bullying victimisation. It was found that basic psychological needs, forged in the relationships with family and school members, could predict bullying victimisation in each social context. Bullying perpetrations could be predicted only by bullying victimisation stemming from each social context, whereas bullying behaviours in school could also be directly predicted by the basic psychological needs developed in the family. Furthermore, path models verified the multiple influences of family functioning on school relationships. Findings of the present study may contribute to designing effective school interventions and to reforming antibullying guidelines for teachers and parents with respect to the basic psychological needs of the children or adolescents who have been victimised.
Early childhood feeding problems can be challenging. Children who limit their food consumption may significantly impact multiple critical areas of development. Effective treatment should be accessed as early as possible but has been limited to a handful of US hospital programmes. Feeding problems affect both children with and without disability, and families may struggle with multiple children having feeding difficulties. We provided short-term (less than 2 weeks), in-home, intensive, behaviour-analytic feeding intervention to two children with typical development who were younger siblings of children already in the programme. We used a withdrawal/reversal design to assess the effects of nonremoval of the spoon, re-presentation, contingent and noncontingent access to tangibles, differential attention, and response cost. This multi-component intervention was effective in increasing the consumption of a wide variety of foods at regular texture and self-feeding for both participants. Variety was increased to over 60 foods from all food groups. Admission goals were met (100%). We trained caregivers to high procedural integrity and generalised the protocol. We provided actual plate picture examples of family meals consumed where the brothers and parents ate the same meal. Caregiver satisfaction and social acceptability were high. Gains were maintained at 3-year follow-up where parents reported problems were fully resolved.
Did growing up as singletons (only-children) convince young adults born under China's one-child policy of the superiority of singleton status and therefore the desirability of not having more than one child? This article draws on interviews with 52 childless newlyweds in Dalian, China, to help answer this question. We found that far from convincing them of the superiority of singleton status, the feelings of loneliness experienced by singletons in childhood and adulthood have convinced most of them that it is better to have a sibling than to be a singleton and thus it is better to have two children instead of one. Moreover, interviewees who did have siblings tended to corroborate singletons’ beliefs about how valuable a sibling can be in both childhood and adulthood.
Sibling resemblance in crime may be due to genetic relatedness, shared environment, and/or the interpersonal influence of siblings on each other. This latter process can be understood as a type of ‘peer effect’ in that it is based on social learning between individuals occupying the same status in the social system (family). Building on prior research, we hypothesized that sibling pairs that resemble peer relationships the most, i.e., same-sex siblings close in age, exhibit the most sibling resemblance in crime.
Drawing on administrative microdata covering Finnish children born in 1985–97, we examined 213 911 sibling pairs, observing the recorded criminality of each sibling between ages 11 and 20. We estimated multivariate regression models controlling for individual and family characteristics, and employed fixed-effects models to analyze the temporal co-occurrence of sibling delinquency.
Among younger siblings with a criminal older sibling, the adjusted prevalence estimates of criminal offending decreased from 32 to 25% as the age differences increased from less than 13 months to 25–28 months. The prevalence leveled off at 23% when age difference reached 37–40 months or more. These effects were statistically significant only among same-sex sibling pairs (p < 0.001), with clear evidence of contemporaneous offending among siblings with minimal age difference.
Same-sex siblings very close in age stand out as having the highest sibling resemblance in crime. This finding suggests that a meaningful share of sibling similarity in criminal offending is due to a process akin to peer influence, typically flowing from the older to the younger sibling.
Chapter 2 draws heavily on surviving letters between inmates and their loved ones, listed addresses in prisoners’ files and visitor records in order to explore the impact of separation and ways families attempted to sustain bonds across lengthy prison sentences. Through four distinct sections, it offers a fascinating insight into family relationships, domestic arrangements, expected responsibilities and obligations. The first section examines the ways imprisoned women sought to maintain contact with their loved ones and vice versa through letter writing. The second section focuses on visitors received by inmates, revealing desires and obligations within the family unit. The third section examines convict mothers’ relationships with their children, some of whom were born in prison and others of whom accompanied their mothers to penal servitude. Changes to legislation and practices across the century restricted convict mothers’ time with their offspring and, towards the end of the century, meant that women with children had to find alternative means to fulfil mothering roles. The final section considers the influence relatives and friends could have on a convict’s release. While it is apparent that family relationships could be maintained, this chapter also shows evidence of strained relationships between incarcerated women and their families and friends.
Chapter 4 explores the distribution of resources and chores to children by their gender and their perceptions of their family’s distributional practices when their parents had migrated. Chiefly, parents felt obligated to provide sons with money for education and housing, but they only felt obligated to support their daughters’ education. Children realised that their gender impacted on what their parents aimed to provide for them. At the same time, many children perceived inequality in the adults’ everyday treatment of them vis-à-vis their opposite-gender sibling, for instance, in the distribution of food and treats, access to the television remote control, and household chores. Gender inequalities were sometimes also discerned by children in their parents’ decisions about which sibling stayed behind in the countryside and which sibling migrated with the parents. Nevertheless, gender equality in child-raising practices were also evident, including in investment in children’s education and even in the amount of pocket money boys and girls received, as well as in the children’s receipt of gifts from migrant parents. But even as left-behind children benefited from wider processes favouring gender equality, the effects unfolded unevenly across localities, families, and individuals such that boys’ and girls’ experiences of being left-behind varied.
Executive dysfunction is one of the main cognitive theories of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Despite evidence of deficits in executive functions in individuals with ASD, little is known about executive dysfunctions as candidate cognitive endophenotypes for ASD. In this study, we investigated executive functions in youths with ASD, their unaffected siblings and typically developing controls (TDC).
We recruited 240 youths with a clinical diagnosis of ASD (aged 6–18 years), 147 unaffected siblings of ASD youths, and 240 TDC youths. TDC youths were recruited based on the age and sex distribution of the ASD youths. Participants were assessed using the verbal Digit Span test and four executive function tasks from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, including Intra-dimensional/Extra-dimensional Shift (I/ED), Spatial Span (SSP), Spatial Working Memory (SWM), and Stocking of Cambridge (SoC).
ASD youths, relative to TDC, performed significantly worse in executive function tasks assessing verbal working memory (forward and backward digit span), set-shifting (I/ED), visuospatial working memory (SSP, SWM), and planning/problem solving (SoC). Furthermore, unaffected siblings, relative to TDC, performed worse in forward and backward digit recalls and made more errors in SWM. These results were independent of the effects of age, sex, IQ, and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Our findings support impaired executive functions in youths with ASD. However, unaffected siblings were mostly unimpaired except in the areas of verbal and spatial working memory, which may be potential cognitive endophenotypes for ASD.
Childhood abuse and neglect often occurs within families and can have a large influence on mental well-being across the lifespan. However, the sibling concordance of emotional abuse and neglect (i.e. together referred to as emotional maltreatment; EM), physical abuse (PA) and sexual abuse (SA) and the long-term impact on the context of siblings' maltreatment experiences are unclear. To examine the influence of EM, PA and SA on adult depressive symptoms within the family framework we differentiate between (a) the family-wide (mean level of all siblings) effects and (b) the individual deviation from the mean family level of maltreatment.
The sample (N = 636) consists of 256 families, including at least one lifetime depressed or anxious individual and their siblings. Multilevel modeling was used to examine the family-wide and relative individual effects of childhood maltreatment (CM).
(a) Siblings showed most similarity in their reports of EM followed by PA. SA was mostly reported by one person within a family. In line with these observations, the mean family levels of EM and PA, but not SA, were associated with more depressive symptoms. In addition, (b) depression levels were more elevated in individuals reporting more EM than the family mean.
Particularly in the case of more visible forms of CM, siblings' experiences of EM and PA are associated with the elevated levels of adult depressive symptoms. Findings implicate that in addition to individual maltreatment experiences, the context of siblings' experiences is another crucial risk factor for an individuals' adult depressive symptomatology.
To understand how healthy siblings visualize and represent health and disease as conditions affecting them and others in their family. Furthermore, to evaluate the emotional settings following health and disease for healthy siblings, the reasons lead to illness and what could be done to avoid that path. Additionally, this study aims to investigate the parameters that interfere with the physical and emotional living of healthy siblings and finally to access their subjective knowledge on disease and in particular, cancer.
Fourteen healthy children, aged between 7 and 14, siblings to children diagnosed and receiving treatment for leukemia (acute lymphoblastic & myelogenous leukemia), nephroblastoma (Wilms’ tumor), lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, where evaluated according to the Hatira's Projective Technique.
Analyzing the interviews lead to different kind of responses; some positive but mainly negative ones. The negative reactions addressed emotional instability, rejection, separation, siblings’ rivalry, the medical treatment itself and the fear of death, while positive reactions concerned self-awareness, sensitization, earlier maturing and increased family coherence after the crisis.
The physical relationship between siblings is a special kind of human relationship that can outrun time and crises, even outgrowing in some cases the relationship between parents and their children. On the other hand, it is simultaneously a very fragile and vulnerable relationship, since traumatic experiences such as those arising from childhood cancer interfere with the mental and emotional growing of the healthy brother or sister, causing confusion to the body, mind and soul.