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Title: The Sibling Relationship as a Source of Support inChildhood
Author: Raynor, Alexandra
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2008
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Abstract:
Traditionally childhood, the sibling relationship and support have all been the domain of psychological, outcome based research. This positivist approach was challenged by the child centred perspective which recognises children as competent social actors negotiating and constructing their relationships and is interested in the perspective of the children. Adopting a child centred approach to investigating support in the sibling relationship .allows us to hear the childrens accounts of how they experience and perceive their relationship and the support within it. A child centred approach was taken throughout the study. Thirty six children from 18 sibling pairs were interviewed at three time points over the academic year. Data was co-produced with the children in a variety of ways as a choice of child centred conversational prompts were available within the interviews. This also allowed the childen to dictate the direction of the interview and take more control. By keeping the emphasis on the children's perspectives during analysis, support emerged strongly as a theme from the data. There were generally two types of support; support acknowledged by at least one member of the dyad and support unacknowledged by both members of the dyad. The acknowledged support the children described included the practical and emotional support they experienced and offered to each other, often in ways which showed just how well they knew each other. The major concern of the children, however, was play. On further investigation it became clear that play was so important to the children because play was the practice through which they constructed and negotiated their sibling relationships. The unacknowledged support that the siblings received was generally in the form of preparation for life. Particularly through conflict and aspects of play the children learned transferable life skills, such as dealing with power issues or competition. A sub group of the younger children also illustrated the importance of demonstrating that life must go on at times of difficulty. By maintaining a child centred perspective to research it is possible to see that the sibling relationship is a significant source of support in childhood in a variety of ways.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Not available Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.504686  DOI: Not available
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