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Family Systems and Sibling Relationships


concerning this article should be addressed to Martha J. Cox, Center for Developmental Science, 100 E. Franklin St., CB # 8115, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8115; e-mail:


Abstract— Family systems theory suggests the importance of the role of sibling relationships in the regulation of behavior and affect, not only as children develop but, in fact, throughout the life span. However, little research has been done on the potentially unique contributions that sibling relationships make to development. The 3 articles in this Special Section detail the existing literature on this topic and indicate important directions for further investigation.