Feature Article Topic Lenses

As I begin to examine my topic of sibling relationships, I know that I need to narrow down what exactly I wish to research. Gaining different perspectives may allow me to expand the way I view these interpersonal relationships, so I have decided to take this topic through six “Topic Lenses,” which are various sets of questions that might guide me through multiple perspectives that differ from my own.


As I briefly research siblings and their relationships, I find that there have been a number of individuals and groups who have contributed to this fairly unexplored subject. Most of these people are well-educated in the areas of psychology or psychiatry. Despite a somewhat large interest among this community, no one person has added significantly more to this research than others. Because very little of the available information on this topic has been scientifically proven or been published directly, profiling any one person may not be beneficial to the kind of research I want to pursue. Personally, being able to physically speak with someone who has studied this material would be interesting; however, I am more intrigued by the thought of discussing the matter of siblings with someone who is living in this situation. By this I mean that I would love to talk to someone who has dealt with siblings and has felt the impact of these relationships on a personal level.


Most of the trends in the realm of this topic involve the various aspects surrounding sibling relationships, which include age differences, gender, number of siblings, biological relations to one another, and birth order among others. While all of these can affect the bond between siblings, most research that I’ve found mostly deals with the ages and genders of siblings. There are some studies on a variety of other factors, but what I have come across through beginning my research has mostly focused on these two specifically.


The topic of family is generally something that most people hold dear to their hearts, so controversial matters are typically kept to a minimum. However, if something controversial does arise, it is usually a big deal. Recently, those who study this topic have not been able to be proven yet, so there are many contradicting hypotheses. Experts go back and forth with arguing which factors are more influential than others and in what ways they are influential to the overall strength of this relationship.


The subject of sibling relationships affects most people all over the world, so narrowing the study of this topic to a single location is nearly impossible. Being in America leads me to use research from western countries, but I know that this study occurs in other places as well. This is a fairly universal topic, so this lens of discovering geographic centers of this study is not very useful in trying to gain new perspectives on this subject.


Most people have siblings, so the influence of this topic extends to anyone who falls into this category of people. Each of a person’s relationships affects them differently. By being able to control what influences this aspect of a person’s life, a person can positively influence this relationship which will improve upon various other parts of their life. Also, since relationships are similar regardless if the other person is a sibling or someone else, a person can learn to improve multiple pieces of their life and work towards a better overall quality of life. This situation will always be present; therefore, this topic currently has and will continue to have a great impact on a large number of people, so attempting to understand this will benefit many.


As I look deeper into this subject, I see how important having siblings is within the overall realm of a person’s life. Due to this large significance, I am interested in exploring this topic further in terms of psychological aspects. I know that various factors (ex. age, gender, family size, etc.) can affect the relationship among siblings; however, I am curious to know what role this positive or negative relationship plays in determining one’s behavior. By saying this, I mean to inquire if the way a person acts towards their sibling is indicative of how they act towards others. Along these same lines, I also wonder if the way a person’s relationship with their sibling exemplifies the majority of the rest of their relationships, meaning that if someone has a good relationship with their sibling that the majority of the rest of their relationships are also good (and vice versa).