Adult Sibling Relationships

Paperback | December 8, 2015

byGeoffrey L. Greif, Michael E. Woolley

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The bond siblings develop in childhood may be vastly different from the relationship that evolves in adulthood. Driven by affection but also characterized by ambivalence and ambiguity, adult sibling relationships can become hurtful, uncertain, competitive, or exhausting though the undercurrents of love and loyalty remain. An approach that recognizes the positive aspects of the changing sibling relationship, as well as those that need improvement, can restore healthy ties and rebuild family closeness.

With in-depth case studies of more than 260 siblings over the age of forty and interviews with experts on mental health and family interaction, this book offers vital direction for traversing the emotional terrain of adult sibling relations. It pursues a richer understanding of ambivalence, a normal though little explored feeling among siblings, and how ambiguity about the past or present can lead to miscommunication and estrangement. For both professionals and general readers, this book clarifies the most confounding elements of sibling relationships and provides specific suggestions for realizing new, productive avenues of friendship in middle and later life-skills that are particularly important for siblings who must cooperate to care for aging parents or give immediate emotional or financial support to other siblings or family members.

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From the Publisher

The bond siblings develop in childhood may be vastly different from the relationship that evolves in adulthood. Driven by affection but also characterized by ambivalence and ambiguity, adult sibling relationships can become hurtful, uncertain, competitive, or exhausting though the undercurrents of love and loyalty remain. An approach ...

Geoffrey Greif is a professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and has been teaching and practicing family, group, and individual therapy for more than forty years. His books include Two Plus Two: Couples and Their Couple Friendships and Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships.Michael Woolley is an associate pr...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:December 8, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023116517X

ISBN - 13:9780231165174

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsPart I: Introduction to Adult Siblings1. The World of Adult Siblings2. Sibling Relationships: Studies from BiologyPart II: What We Learned About Siblings from Our Research3. Sibling Relationships in Middle to Late Adulthood: What's Age Got to Do with It?4. The Perceived Impact of Parents on Sibling Relationships Across the Life Span5. When Sibling Relationships Are in Serious Trouble6. Adult Sibling Relationships with Step- and Half SiblingsPart III: Case Studies7. When Siblings Cut Off Contact8. Coping with the Death of a Sister (a Twin) and Other Losses9. Three Brothers Who Get It RightPart IV: Therapy Approaches10. Working with Siblings When Aging Parents Need Care, by Barbara Kane and Linda Hill11. Dealing with Adult Siblings in an Emergency Health Crisis, Anne P. Hahn12. Therapy with Sibling Issues13. Looking Forward to Fostering Better Sibling RelationshipsAppendix: Study Methodology and Implications for Future Research for Clinical WorkNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

Given the book's academic strength, it is unusually engaging in its content. The writing is excellent. The breadth of relevant topics is superlative. And it makes a clear case for the importance of clinicians understanding sibling relationships.