Like brother, like sister? Disentangling the intertwined associations between siblings’ life course trajectories
Sibling relationships have been a subject of great interest in research due to their unique and long-lasting nature. Scholars have recognized the significance of sibling ties in providing social support, emotional connection, and shared experiences throughout different life stages. Understanding the dynamics of sibling relationships is important to uncover their potential influence on various aspects of individuals’ lives, including their attitudes, behaviors, and life course trajectories. While previous research has primarily focused on the transfer of experiences and behaviors from parents to their children, this dissertation delves into the reciprocal interactions among siblings. It seeks to unravel whether individuals resemble their siblings in their life course trajectories due to direct sibling effects (“like brother, like sister”), while attempting to account for the fact that their similarities may stem from shared upbringing and environments from their parents (“like parents”). First, this thesis investigates the extent to which siblings’ behaviors are connected in terms of different life course trajectories (i.e., leaving the parental home, fertility, and partnership dissolution). Second, it utilizes siblings’ demographic similarities to understand the circumstances in which sibling (dis)similarities are amplified. Similar to this, the dissertation addresses two under-examined sibling characteristics (i.e., personality traits and relationship closeness) that may play a role in strengthening the associations between siblings’ life courses. This allows us to add new insights into the existing literature. Last but not least, the thesis employs different methodological approaches and analytical strategies when studying the cross-sibling effects. Overall, this dissertation offers a deeper understanding of how sibling ties and family dynamics shape individual development and life course trajectories.
Antwerp : University of Antwerp, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology , 2024
177 p.
Supervisor: Mortelmans, Dimitri [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Vergauwen, Jorik [Supervisor]
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Like brother, like sister: Sibling influence on their respective life courses.
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Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Creation 19.01.2024
Last edited 20.01.2024
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