Feature Article Research Proposal

As I worked to complete the initial heuristic to identify possible topics for this research project, I looked into various aspects of my life that could also be seen in a majority of other people’s lives. Ultimately, I realized that one of the most common characteristics among people are their families; however, thinking this topic is too general, I narrowed my research quest to sibling relationships. Everyone is affected by siblings or a lack thereof; due to the innumerable possible family situations, I want to look into how various factors affect sibling relationships and what impact these different types of relationships have on individuals. In my experience, I have dealt with both positive and negative interactions with my younger sister, and our relationship has changed as a result. Relationships as a whole are known to be dynamic and fluctuate in time, but it is interesting to me to be able to research further how the positives and negatives in each of these relationships influence a person’s personality and behavior. The largest factor in eventually choosing this topic is the universality of this subject. All people either have siblings or they do not, but regardless of whether a person has them, everyone is affected by the presence or absence of these relationships. Because of the endless contexts of these relationships and the fact that anyone can relate to this subject, I think that research focused on this topic would be interesting to my audience as well as myself.

At this point in time, I have several questions to start my research, including “What factors influence relationships among siblings the most?”, “How does a positive or negative relationship with siblings influence a person’s personality and/or behavior?”, “Does a change in these relationships have an impact on a person?”, “What are some trends among various sibling contexts?”, and so forth. I am already aware of some of the various contexts surrounding these relationships, meaning the type of family to which the siblings belong (i.e. traditional family, blended family, etc.). Additionally, I also know of factors that impact these relationships, such as age difference, gender, number of siblings, and birth order. As a result of conducting research on this topic, I hope to find out which factors ultimately play the biggest role in a relationship’s overall atmosphere and what impact different family situations make in these relationships. I mostly want to focus on the relationships themselves since trying to equate specific types of relationships to the personality and behavioral effects can be much more difficult.

Through my initial search of this subject, I was made aware of the many studies already conducted on different aspects of my topic; therefore, finding sources online will not be hard to do. However, I will need to be cautious of which ones I use so as to gain accurate information. I also will need to consult a source focusing on the psychological aspect of this topic because the various factors and contexts of these relationships are rooted in psychology. Additionally, I am not yet sure who I might use as a primary source for a personal interview. Due to the fact that I have no knowledge as to how relationships and psychology are connected, any expert on the psychological determinants of various relationships would be beneficial to interview, especially if they are well-versed in family relationships or even siblings specifically. I know finding someone with this expertise may be difficult, so I could also try interviewing people that are a part of relationships in various contexts in order to explore how the situational aspect of these relationships affect it as a whole. While these scenarios have major contrasts in terms of level expertise, I would be able to gain insight on my topic either way.

For this research project, I want to learn what impacts relationships between siblings, meaning which factors can have an effect and how certain situations can influence this type of relationship. This topic is an interesting choice because all people can relate to it and there are numerous viable online and human resources that can be utilized during my research.