Sibling Communication Essay

Did you know that approximately 80 % of persons that have siblings spend at least one tierce of their life with their sibling or siblings? ( Myers. page 309 ) That is a important sum of clip to pass with person. Our group wanted to research how siblings communicate and how gender or age can impact this communicating. As research workers. we felt that this subject was of import to analyze because so much of our lives are spent with another. We wanted to look at a figure of different countries ; foremost. we wanted to cognize if same sex sibling couples communicated more than opposite gender siblings. We besides wanted to cognize if siblings with at least one female in the relationship affect communicating. if struggle is based on gender. and if age affects all of these types of communicating. The intent of our survey is to analyze precisely how different siblings communicate and how they handle struggle.

Literature Review

Communication is a accomplishment that starts development from the twenty-four hours a individual is born. Our interactions with those around us. and how they interact assist us to develop our ain alone manners of communicating. Children are easy influenced by the people in their unrecorded and frequently times their closest relationships have the biggest impact on their actions. That being said. one of the most outstanding relationships a kid may hold is with a sibling. An older sibling may assist a younger sibling larn how to talk. and interact with others the same age. which at the same clip is assisting an older sibling larn how to pass on their ideas and feelings. The sibling relationship starts immature. and normally last an full life-time.

There are few other relationships that develop and grow for this sum of clip. We have decided to research this astonishing relationship. and trial precisely what makes these relationships similar or different from household to household. We are specifically traveling to look at the gender within sibling relationships. to see how this affects the development of communicating. By comparing same sex female. same sex male. and opposite sex siblings we hope to see some forms associating to gender.


Our research is concentrating on the communicating in sibling relationships. First. we should explicate what we are mentioning to when discoursing communicating. Communication is defined in the Merriam-Webster lexicon as “a procedure by which information is exchanged between persons through a common system of symbols. marks. or behaviour. ” ( Hacker. 2011 ) When we explore communicating between siblings we will be including phone conversations. electronic mails. texts. letters. face-to-face meetings. and any other signifiers that include the exchange of information between the siblings. In add-on to communicating. we will besides concentrate some of our research on struggle in communicating. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines struggle as “mental battle ensuing from incompatible or opposing demands. thrusts. wants. or external or internal demands. ” ( Hacker. 2011 )

We will include statements. physical battles. green-eyed monster. and anger towards each other in our struggle research. Throughout the undermentioned treatment the construct of a ‘sibling dyad’ should be known as the relationship between two specific siblings and does non include other household members. One of the facets of sibling relationships depends upon their self-disclosure with one another. Scott A Myers defines self-disclosure as “any information about a individual that is communicated verbally to another individual about past events. current feelings and attitudes. and future programs. ” ( Myers. 1998. p311 ) This characteristic in sibling relationships is of import because it indicates 1s feelings of trust in another.

Similarities Among Previous Surveies:

In old surveies. self-disclosure. contact. and relationship care have been particularly noticed in sister-sister couples. Craig Fowler. an helper professor in Communications at California State University. combines these sister-sister relationship features into the ‘principle of feminineness. ’ which is defined as. “pairs of sisters would bask the closest sibling bond and brother-brother braces the least closest bonds. ” ( Fowler. 2009. p54 ) This is of import to our research because it examines the communicating manner in a peculiar sibling relationship. Research done by the Journal of Marriage & A ; Family has besides shown that this principle stands true. nevertheless they believe that it is in any sibling couple that has a female. As an option to the rule of feminineness. Fowler describes the ‘principle of sex commonalty. ’ which “…suggests that communicating in same gender sibling couples would be more driven by relational motivations ( i. e. pleasance. fondness. inclusion. and relaxation ) than communicating in mix gender couples. ” ( Fowler. 2009. p55 )

In other words. this rule is saying that the “closest couples are those where both parties are the same gender. “ ( Fowler. 2009. p55 ) This is besides good to our research because we can prove cogency of these theories through our probe. Another subject that has been explored is the construct of older siblings as “orientational others” Kuhn defines this as “people to whom topics are committed emotionally and psychologically. who provide topics with a construct of ego. and who influence a subject’s self-definition through communicating. ( Widmer. 1997. p1 ) Basically this is stating that people who have close relationships are frequently influential to the other individual and how they communicate. In siblings. this could intend that how an older sibling Acts of the Apostless will act upon what a younger sibling thinks is acceptable.

We can utilize this in our research to assist explicate why siblings may be act uponing how the other Acts of the Apostless and feels. Conflict in sibling relationships has besides been explored in footings of communicating. Of the major relationships kids have. struggle occurs most normally with siblings. This is thought to be related to the fact that one sibling is frequently seeking to asseverate their authorization over the other ( normally older over younger ) . This struggle is believed to be more outstanding during adolescence when siblings are seeking to develop themselves as a individual. This leads to the younger sibling seeking to “rebel” against this false authorization. ( Campione-Barr. 2010. p464 ) This is of import to our research because struggle is a big portion of how siblings communicate. By researching this facet of communicating specifically. and so associating it back to gender. we may be able to happen an of import correlativity.

There have been legion surveies that focus on how communicating is affected by the figure of siblings in each family. Although our surveies are looking at one couple. this information is helpful for us to cite. Because the information is present in more than one survey. we can presume that these consequences are a tendency and may help us during our research. For illustration. a survey performed by the Journal of Psychology found that “individuals who live with three or more siblings expect themselves to achieve higher classs than those who have no siblings. one sibling. or two siblings…” ( Rocca. 2010. p209 ) These consequences tell us that persons in larger sibling couples hold higher outlooks for themselves due to the comparing and competition among the couples. As antecedently stated. the basic construct of this survey was different from ours ; nevertheless. the consequences help us to pull an premise about verbal ability among sibling couples.

There have besides been a figure of surveies performed that analyze sibling communicating and it’s association with struggle. The consequences by and large report that revelation behaviours contribute to relational intimacy. but besides mostly contribute to conflict among the same relationships. “sibling trust is associated with communicating behaviours such as verbal aggressiveness and tease. ” ( Meyers. 1998. p311 ) This tendency reveals cases where negative communicating plays a positive function in sibling relationships.

This tendency will be of import for us to cite during our surveying because many sibling couples will describe some kind of struggle in their relationships. However. because of this tendency. we can turn out that the struggle really does play a important function in sibling communicating. Harmonizing to Rocca. “siblings who actively participate in proactive responses to a struggle state of affairs may advance legion relational themes… and may ensue in the usage of mutual. conforming communicating behaviours between siblings. ” ( Rocca. 2010. p274 ) This alternate tendency will besides be of import for us to cite during our surveying because it reports that struggle may assist to better sibling communicating.

Differences Among Previous Surveies:

For our research we found several differences when comparing our articles. First. we noticed that out of the eight articles. two of them focused on brace siblings. four of the articles focused on legion siblings. and the last two focused on legion siblings but the participants were required to pick merely one of their siblings for the research. The two articles that focused on brace siblings came from the articles “Who Said You Would Wear My Sweater” and “Gender Differences in Adult Sibling Relations in Two-Child Families. ” “Who Said You Could Wear My Sweater” looked at immature pair-sibling struggles and how that was associated with the quality of the relationship ( Campione-Barr. 2010. p464 ) . “Gender Differences in Adult Sibling Relations in Two-Child Families” examined intimacy. contact. and aid among pair siblings to see how that related to the gender of the siblings ( Spitze. 2006. p977 ) . The other six articles focused their research off of households with legion siblings. However. “Motives for Sibling Communication Across the Lifespan” and “Siblings’ Motives for Talking to Each other” allowed participants to hold legion siblings. but they were required to merely pick one of them for the inquiries they had to reply about them.

Another difference we found within our research was from two articles speaking about how the gender may or may non find how close the siblings are. Harmonizing to the Spitze and Trent findings. they use the “principle of femaleness” and say that “the more adult females in a relationship. the closer the brace will be…pairs of sisters would bask the closest sibling bond. and brother-brother braces the least close relationship” ( Spitze. 2006. p54 ) . In this article they say that female siblings portion and keep a relationship more closely than that of a brother-to-brother relationship. In “Gender Differences in Adult Sibling Relations in Two-Child Families” they do hold that sister-sister siblings are closer than brother-brother siblings but the difference from this article to the Spitze article is that they say that it doesn’t have to be merely sister-sister. if a household has a sister with brothers. they can be near because of that female feature.

One last difference we noticed was that all of the articles focused on different age groups. Two articles. “Gender Differences in Adult Sibling Relations in Two-Child Families” and “Siblings’ Motives for Talking to Each Other” focused their research on grownup sibling relationships. The articles. “Who Said You Could Wear My Sweater” and Influence of Older Siblings on Initiation of Sexual Intercourse” focused their research on immature. adolescent siblings. The last four articles focused their research on a scope of ages ; they didn’t needfully concentrate their findings on grownup vs. stripling like the others did.

Methods antecedently used:

There have been many surveies done by research workers that have focused on interaction between siblings and how they interact with one and another. One of the methods consisted of enrolling participants at a university in California. Participants had to be at least 18 old ages old and have at least one sibling. The mean age of participants was 41 old ages old. 68 % of the participants were adult females. and 37 % were work forces. Of these topics 18. 3 % reported were brothers describing about brothers. 32. 2 % were sister describing about sisters. 18. 3 % were brothers describing about sisters. and 30. 2 % were sister describing about brother. Siblings completed measurings communicating. motivations. and satisfaction with their sibling based on a graduated table of 1 to 5. 1 being non at all 5 being precisely. ( Fowler. 2009. p55 )

Another method was from pupils enrolled in a senior- degree communicating class at a big mid-western university. Participating in this survey was required for the category. and each pupil had to enroll 12 people to voluntarily finish a set of anon. questionnaires and have at least one sibling. There were a sum of 360 questionnaires that included 150 work forces and 210 adult females with an age scope of 17 to 44 old ages old. The inquiries on the questionnaire were “used to mensurate the intimacy of two people based on the interpersonal solidarity graduated table. individualised trust graduated table. revised self-disclosure graduated table and the interpersonal communicating satisfaction stock list graduated table. ” ( Myers. 1998. p312-313 )

Another method that was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family did a national information survey that came from NSFH. which was a national chance sample of 13. 007 respondents aged 19 old ages and older. The participants were first interviewed and so one grownup per family was selected indiscriminately for engagement in the study. The NSFH conducted the research in a community with rich informations beginning on diverse household experiences. they took the information from the first moving ridge of interviews and compared them to the study to compare relationship of full siblings to the intimacy they had when they were turning up compared to their relationship after they moved off from one another. ( Spitze. 2006 )

In a different survey participants were recruited from Northeastern U. S. suburban school territory. Letterss depicting the survey were sent to parents of 7th and 10th class pupils. The parents mailed back a response sheet if they were interested in the survey. The survey was to mensurate sibling pairs half of the pupils at each class participated with older siblings and the other half participated with younger siblings. The braces were divided into three cohorts. The preadolescent-early stripling cohort. which were 7th graders and their younger siblings. Early- in-between stripling consisted of some 7th graders that were the oldest sibling and some that were the youngest. and so middle late stripling. which consisted of 10th graders with older siblings. This was to mensurate sibling struggle based on a group of inquiries that the parents had to reply about their childs and how they handled sibling struggle. ( Campione-Barr. 2010. p465-466 )

Research Questions:

• Do same sex couples communicate more than opposite sex couples? • Which dyad type studies more struggles in comparing to age? • Is communication type affected by couple type? ( i. e. . electronic mail. F2F. socialmedia ) • Is conflict type affected by gender?


Our squad decided to look at sibling relationships and how they differ from household to household. We were interested in larning how gender in sibling couples affects how they communicate. We specifically looked at a few countries and came up with a set of inquiries associating to sibling communicating. We were seeking to happen out if same sex couples communicate more than opposite gender couples and if holding at least one female in the couple affects communicating degrees. We were besides interested in which dyad type studies more struggles and at what age this struggle is prevailing. Our hypothesis was that holding at least one female in a couple would ensue in more frequent communicating and that struggle would be different between different sex couples. After our research we found that gender does impact struggle types and besides how siblings communicate with one another. However. we could merely compare gender to who initiated the communicating and non the gender of the couple.


Participant enlisting was performed wholly on-line. A FaceBook event was created and each research worker had the ability to ask for all of their friends to the event. Within this event. the participants could read about the survey. hold to the consent. and follow the nexus to the concluding study. The event was besides made ‘public’ . which means that any user that was connected to person that was go toing could see the event and finally take the study. Because our study was created in Qualtrics. participants were able to finish it online and on their ain clip. This plan besides collected informations for us. Professor Leigh Maxwell was able to draw up consequences and supply our research group with the figure of completed studies and the consequences. All of the consequences were transcribed by Qualtrics before they were given out in order for our group to garner all of this information was anonymously.

Qualtrics was really valuable to our research. as this was our lone method of research. We were able to motivate Qualtrics to compare/contrast the consequences of one inquiry to others without restriction. This information helped us easy retain of import information that was collected and relate consequences back to our original literature reappraisal and research inquiries. We requested the consequences in three different ‘comparison’ groups. The first group analyzed was “participant gender versus sibling gender versus the interaction that best describes sibling relationship. ” The 2nd group was “participant gender versus sibling gender versus who initiates communicating. ” Finally. the last group we requested was “participant gender versus sibling gender versus communicating types. ”


After administering our studies we ended up with a sum of 208 participants. Out of the all participants. 82 % of them were in the age scope of 18-25. 12 % of them were age scope 26-35. 4 % of participants were in the age scope of 36-45. and 3 % of participants were in the age scope of 46 and up. When looking at the gender of our participants. there was a important difference in the sum of females and males that participated ; 76 % of the participants were females. while merely 24 % of the participants were males.

After inquiring for participant demographics. we wanted to roll up information about their sibling. The first inquiry we asked our participants was “what is the gender of your sibling. ” Participants were asked to reply inquiries based on one sibling. If the participant had more than one sibling. they were asked to pick merely one when replying all of the inquiries. Our consequences were disconnected about equally ; 48 % of participants answered these inquiries based on a male sibling and 52 % answered these inquiries based on a female sibling.

For the following inquiry we wanted to see if their sibling was older or younger than them. Out of 208 participants. one individual did non reply this inquiry. 54 % of participants reported that their sibling was older than themselves. while 46 % reported their sibling was younger than themselves. After inquiring if the participant’s sibling was older or younger. we asked what the age difference was between themselves and their sibling. Out of 208 participants. 206 answered this inquiry. The highest age difference was 3-4 old ages at 39 % . 33 % of participants had a difference of 1-2 old ages. 15 % had a difference of 5-6 old ages. and eventually. 13 % of participants reported 7 or more old ages.

We so wanted to cognize about the wellness and mental stableness of the participant’s siblings. To happen this information. we included a inquiry that inquired about the mental and physical wellness of participant siblings. All participants answered this inquiry. 98 % of participants answered yes. while 2 % of participants answered “no. ” If participants stated that their sibling was non of stable wellness. they were required to explicate why. All five participants who answered with “no. ” responded with replies such as eating upset. bipolar upset. depression. anxiousness. drug maltreatment. and arthritis.

The following inquiry we asked had to make with how close participants lived to their sibling. All 208 participants answered this inquiry. The option picked the most was “living in the same state” at 42 % . The following highest option picked most was “living in the same city” at 25 % . The following option. “living in different states” was near at 21 % . The option “living in the same house” had 12 % and the option “living in different country” was about 0 % with lone one of our participants taking this option.

After inquiring inquiries about their siblings we wanted to see how frequently our participants communicated via different mediums. For the first medium we chose “talking on the phone. ” all participants responded and the highest sum. which was 72 participants. take the answer 1-2 times a month. The lowest sum. which was 3 participants. take the reply “multiple times a twenty-four hours. ” The following medium was texting. 206 of the 208 entire participants responded. 66 participants chose the option “once per hebdomad. ” which was the highest. The lowest was “once per year” with 10 participants taking this option. The following communicating medium was “face to face ; ” 205 of the 208 entire participants responded. The highest chosen option was “one to two times per month” with 80 participants taking this option. The lowest was “multiple clip a day” with 4 participants taking this option. The following medium was e-mail ; 207 of the 208 entire participants responded. The most participants answered that they emailed “once or less per twelvemonth. ” There was one participant that stated that they communication with their sibling via electronic mail everyday.

The following medium was societal networking ; 205 of the 208 answered this. The most participants stated that they networked with their sibling “1-2 times per month” with 71 participants taking this option. Six participants stated that they networked with their sibling “multiple times a twenty-four hours. ” which was the lowest response. The last medium we provided as an option for communicating was Skype ; 204 of the 208 answered this inquiry. A important sum of participants reported that they Skyped with their sibling “once or less per twelvemonth. ” with 164 of 208 participants taking this option. There were no participants that reported that they Skyped with their siblings on a day-to-day footing or more. We besides provided participants the pick of a “other” medium. 26 of the 208 participants responded to this option. Of the 26 responses. 25 participants chose “once or less per year” but gave no specification as to what medium they were mentioning to. The other response chose the option “2-5 times per year” but besides gave no specification as to what medium they were mentioning to.

The following inquiry we asked was who initiates communicating between the two of them. All 208 participants responded to this inquiry. 71 % of participants chose the option “equal initiation” while 7 % participants said that their sibling did and 23 % said that they initiated communicating most.

For the following inquiry. we wanted to cognize about struggle between the participant and their sibling. We asked. “At what age was struggle most prevailing in your sibling relationship? ” 207 of the 208 entire participants responded to this inquiry. Consequences were scattered throughout all of the provided options. 35 % of the participants. which was the largest sum. reported that ages 14-16 were most prevailing for struggle. However. non far behind this figure. 33 % of participants stated that ages 11-13 were most prevailing for struggle. 16 % of participants chose ages 0-10. 10 % chose ages 17-21. 4 % reported ages 22-35. and 36 eventually merely 2 % of participants reported that struggle was most prevailing during ages 36 and supra.

Following. we asked what type of interaction bests describes the struggle during the age they indicated above ( when was struggle most prevailing ) . All of the 208 participants answered this inquiry. The highest. by a batch. was “verbal argument” with 64 % ( 134 participants ) . taking this option. 12 % of participants chose “devious behavior” . 11 % chose “ignoring one another. ” 10 % chose “physical statements. ” 7 participants chose the option “other” and so explained. Their answered included things such as. “didn’t truly cognize each other at that age. ” “sassy and selfish. ” and two people said “all of the above picks. ”

The following inquiry the study asked was. “On norm. how frequently did conflict occur? ” Out of all participants. 207 participated in this inquiry. The option chosen by most participants was “a couple clip per hebdomad. ” which was 37 % of the entire participants ; 35 % of participants stated that they had struggle “a twosome times per month. ” 15 % of participants chose the option “a few times a twelvemonth. ” 9 % chose “every twenty-four hours. ” and 4 % chose “we ne’er had any struggle. ”

The last inquiry we asked was. “who normally instigated the struggle? ” Out of all 208 participants. 206 participated in this inquiry. The inquiry that got the highest sum of participants was “equal instigation” with 132 people taking this option. 46 participants chose that their sibling instigated the struggle and 28 participants chose the option that they started the struggle themselves.

Interpreting Datas

When construing consequences we cross-tabulated three different parts on our study. The first group we cross-tabulated was “participant gender versus sibling gender versus what interaction best describes struggle. ” Our consequences revealed that “verbal arguments” were the highest response chosen by participants. Out of all participants 136 chose this. Of these 136 participants. 108 were female.

The 2nd group we cross-tabulated was “participant gender versus sibling gender versus who initiates communicating. ” Our consequences showed that both females and males had equal induction for interacting with one another ; Of 208 participants. 148 of them responded with equal induction. 49 participants reported that they. themselves. initiated the communicating. Of these responses. 44 of the participants were female. Merely 14 participants chose “your sibling” as the instigator of struggle. and these responses were females and males.

The concluding group of our consequences we cross-tabulated was “participant gender versus sibling gender versus communicating types. ” A higher figure of participants used texting as their most common agencies of communicating. Siblings who talk every other twenty-four hours or more usage texting as a agency of communicating. while siblings who communicate one time a hebdomad or less were more likely to speak on the phone or face to face.

Research Questions

When we foremost started our research we had five research inquiries. As our research went on and we made alterations to our study. some research inquiries could no longer be answered. After finishing our survey and reexamining consequences we are able to reply two of our research inquiries. The first inquiry we could reply was. “is communicating type affected by gender? ” We found out that males are less likely to speak on the phone every bit frequently as female. So. our consequences demonstrated that females prefer to speak on the phone more than males. We besides found that males are less likely to Skype than females. Finally. we could reply the inquiry. “is struggle type affected by gender? ”

We found that males with male siblings have physical statements more than females. Verbal statements. disregarding each other. and oblique behaviour between males and females and their siblings were reasonably even ( all within 10 % of each other ) . For the research inquiry that asked. “what dyad type studies more struggles in comparing to age” if we cross-tabulated age with struggle we would be able to reply this but we were unable to traverse tabulate at this point. We couldn’t answer the other two research inquiries we had because there was no manner for us to cognize which participants had which gendered siblings. We had Numberss but no manner of stating who was paired with who.

Our Result Similarities with Our Literature Reappraisal

In our literature reappraisal we stated that struggle would be an of import portion to our research because it plays such a big function in sibling couples. By researching the struggle among different genders. we were able to happen a correlativity. When participants were asked what interaction best describes their struggles. 50 % -60 % of males and females stated that verbal statements were most outstanding in their sibling couple. This consequence is similar to a survey referenced in our literature reappraisal performed by Meyers. His consequences by and large reported that revelation behaviours contribute to relational intimacy. but besides mostly contribute to conflict among the same relationships. “sibling trust is associated with communicating behaviours such as verbal aggressiveness and tease. ” ( Meyers. 1998. p311 ) After comparing these specific consequences from both of the surveies. it can be concluded that verbal statements are outstanding in both male and female sibling couples. The literature reappraisal besides references “the rule of feminineness. ” Harmonizing to Spitze and Trent. this rule is saying that female siblings hold a closer relationship than that of a brother-to-brother relationship. There is non a uncertainty that our consequences convey this rule. every bit good. When participants were asked which sibling initiated communicating. 71 % of females reported equal induction. Of this per centum. over half of the relationships were sister-to-sister.


When looking at our researches there were some restrictions. Some restrictions to our research would be when we distributed the studies via Facebook. Peoples who were non our friends would non be able to partake in the survey because they would non hold entree to our study. Another restriction to our survey was if you didn’t have siblings. you couldn’t take the study. Our study was purely about sibling interaction ; therefore participants without siblings could non take the study.

Further Research

When believing about the hereafter. if we had more clip for research we would make a twosome things otherwise. One thing we would make in the hereafter is to guarantee that there is an option for twins. We had a twosome of people say they couldn’t take it because there wasn’t an option for a sibling being the same age as them. Another thing we would hold done was put an option for a sibling that has passed off. Multiple people said they couldn’t take it because there wasn’t an option or anything that would allow them province that their sibling wasn’t still populating. Another thing we would make with the study would be to inquire the inquiry. “is your sibling the same sex or opposite sex? ”

This would do reading our consequences much easier with cross tabling multiple points. One last thing we would take into consideration with farther research would be on the subject of mental/physical wellness. In the beginning of the study we would state something along the lines of. “if your sibling has mental/serious physical wellness issues. you should non take part in this study. ” When looking at our consequences now. if a individual has serious mental or wellness issues we don’t truly want to utilize that information because this could hold changed the consequences mostly. One last thing for farther research would be to do certain that all participants read the consent signifier. We had multiple people say “you didn’t have an option if you had multiple siblings. ” This shows that the individual may non hold read the consent signifier decently. If they had read it exhaustively they would cognize that if they had more than one sibling. merely to pick one.


With this research we were seeking for a better apprehension of sibling communicating in respects to conflict. gender. frequence. and media pick. Through this. we looked at types of communicating such as verbal. non verbal. and technological ( electronic mail. text etc. ) After this was done. we compared communicating types and participant demographics. Our nonsubjective with this research was to better understand the communicating differences in sister-sister/brother-brother/brother-sister relationships. Overall. our research on the subject has shown that there are forms among the couples. Because we are all members of sibling couples. we felt this research was of import to analyse because so much of our lives are spent with our siblings. In retrospect. we feel that our research has helped us better understand the function of communicating in the relationships among couples.


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