Brothers and Sisters: How They Shape Our Lives

Jane Mersky Leder, Author, Stephen P. Bank, Foreword by
Jane Mersky Leder, Author, Stephen P. Bank, Foreword by St. Martin's Press $19.95 (257p) ISBN 978-0-312-06312-2
Reviewed on: 12/02/1991
Release date: 12/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-37995-5
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Leder, whose study of teenage suicide, Dead Serious , was prompted by her brother's self-inflicted death, here delves into the subject of sibling relationships. Mental health professionals and theorists, she says, traditionally give the bulk of responsibility for molding children's personalities to parents, passing over the influence of siblings. Many factors affect the development of sibling relationships, including birth order, number and gender of siblings, parental attitudes. Contradicting the traditional view that sibling rivalry is inevitable, Leder suggests that parents can foster close friendships among brothers and sisters by respecting each child as an individual. Using case histories and anecdotes, Leder explores sibling relationships at each stage of life and offers chapters on sibling incest, only children, death of a sibling, and dysfunctional families. This is a sensitively written, valuable addition to the family psychology field. Author tour. (Dec.)
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