Becoming a Sibling: "With a Little Help From My Friends"

Laurie Kramer, John M. Gottman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The qualities of children's friendships that may promote the development of positive sibling relationships were examined. Thirty 3- to 5-year-old firstborn children whose families were expecting a 2nd child participated in longitudinal assessments of parent-child, sibling, and best-friend peer relationships. Families were studied from the last trimester of pregnancy to 14 months following the new child's birth. Peer relationship variables, particularly, the overall quality of peer play, engagement in fantasy play, and conflict management were found to be significant predictors of the quality of children's interactions with their 6- and 14-month-old siblings. Results are discussed in terms of the functions friendships may hold for helping children make the transition to the sibling role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-699
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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