Does twins rival more or less than other siblings?
Published on April 26, 2012 By Helle Birkholm-Buch
Siblings are from an early age quick to react to any kind of attention that their siblings get, and they may be concerned that rival to be the one that gets the most attention. Two studies have compared twins with single-born siblings, including pseudotypings.
Rivalry is always about the parents' attention and it can be expressed as conflicts, mutual competition in different areas, but conflicts and competition do not have to be signs of rivalry. Rivalry can cause hostility and negative feelings twins in between.
Twins are similar siblings and have therefore had to be shared from the outset on the parents' attention. With the same needs, they have more and more a single-born sibling had to share the same resources, while siblings with more diverse needs attract more diverse resources with their parents. Therefore, in many contexts it has been assumed that twins necessarily need to rival more than single-born. But one can also argue that twins are born with the basic conditions that they have to share and because they have never known for anything else will rival less.
Two studies have compared the twin rivalry of single-born siblings in respectively. 3 and 4-7 years of age. The two studies find slightly different results:
The study of 3 year old twins compared to a matched control group of 1-5 year old single-born siblings and found that twins did not differ from the control group. Thus, twins in this age neither rivaled more or less than other siblings.
The study of the 4-7 year old twins also compared the twins with a matched control group of single-born siblings and found that twins in this age rivaled less. The researchers then made a partial analysis comparing twins with the single-born siblings, with the slightest age difference, and here they found that twins of this age rivaled less than the pseudotypes investigated.
The reason for the different results of the two studies may be that the study of the little twins did not make a partial analysis between twins and siblings every few years. However, it can not be excluded that the age difference in the two studies may also have an influence.