Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Presence of Siblings

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2291-1


Definition: Alloparents


In every century, promoting siblings and sibling relationships has been an integral part of families, societies, and cultures. The portrayal of siblings in folklore, mythology, religious texts and stories, books, cartoons, TV shows, and movies has suggested a standard message to siblings and families, “United we stand, divided we fall.” perhaps because sibling relationships can be the most intimate, yet conflictual relationships (Bank and Kahn 1982).

Over the years, depending on the cultural and family values, the definition of who is a sibling and who is not has changed. Therefore, siblings can include, but are not limited to, biological siblings, half/step-siblings, in-laws such as sisters/brothers-in-law, adopted siblings, foster siblings, cousins, milk siblings, i.e., children nursed by the same female, God siblings, i.e., children of the Godfather or Godmother, friends who are like siblings,...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human DevelopmentSUNY OswegoOswegoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Todd K. Shackelford
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA