Twin and Sibling Attachment in a Nationally Representative Sample

R. Chris Fraley, Caroline M. Tancredy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this research was to evaluate the hypothesis that twin relationships are attachments, using data from a nationally representative sample. The results indicated that twin siblings were more likely than nontwin siblings to be attached to their siblings. Moreover, analyses indicated that both attachment theoretical and inclusive fitness perspectives are necessary for explaining these findings. Namely, twins were more likely to be attached than nontwin siblings, as expected from an attachment perspective. But identical twins were more likely than fraternal twins to be attached to one another, as might be expected from an inclusive fitness perspective. Cross-sectional analyses indicated that older people are less likely than younger people to use their sibling as an attachment figure compared to younger people and that married adults are less likely to use their sibling as an attachment figure than nonmarried people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-316
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Twins
  • attachment
  • close relationships
  • inclusive fitness
  • kinship
  • sibling relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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