THE REACTION OF FIRST-BORN CHILDREN TO THE BIRTH OF A SIBLING: MOTHERS' REPORTS

Authors


*Requests for reprints to: J. Dunn, MRC Unit on the Development and Integration of Behaviour, University Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour, Madingley, Cambridge OB3 8AA, U.K.

SUMMARY

The reactions of first-born children to the birth of a sibling, as reported by their mothers, were studied in 40 families. Increased clinging, withdrawal and tearfulness were negatively related to positive interest in the baby, but other aspects of disturbed behaviour were not significantly associated with each other, or with positive interest. Differences in temperament, in the quality of the mother-first-born relationship, in age and in the mothers' State in the post partum weeks were found to be associated with differences in the reaction of the first-born children.

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