Siblings play a very important role in the moral, cognitive, intellectual and motor development of other siblings within a family. Parents are not the only primary caregivers in a child’s developmental process, siblings also act as more than secondary caregivers…
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The younger one may not get the opportunity to express his feelings better than the older sibling and his thoughts may remain unexpressed. This paper tends to present a literature review regarding the role of siblings on development. Research Section Berger and Nuzzo studied in their research how older siblings influence the motor development of younger siblings. They interviewed parents of 51 sibling pairs to determine the onset of their children’s motor development. They found that in almost all the cases, it was evident that older siblings affected younger siblings’ motor development as the latter crawled and walked much sooner than their elder siblings had. In cases where older ones moved sooner, it was found that the parental resources were inadequate when the younger child was born which affected his motor development. I agree with Berger and Nuzzo because I have observed many children who come at number 2 or 3 in their sibling order and have learnt to move much sooner than their older siblings. Reid, Stahl and Striano (2010) present a similar research in which they focus on motor development of children in or without the presence of older siblings. In their longitudinal research, infants of age 5-12 months were observed playing. The researchers used Mental Bayley Scale, coded the play in terms of the production of infant goal-directed actions, and concluded that “infants with siblings produced fewer goal-directed actions at 5 months than infants without older siblings, but at 12 months they produced relatively more goal-directed actions than infants without older siblings” (p.325). I agree with the idea that as the children grow older, they start imitating their elder siblings more and more. Downey (2001) presents a different research in which he talks about family size and its effect on children’s development. He suggests that as the family size increases, the parental resources and their time and energy all get distributed so much so that each child gets a little share and not enough. So, older siblings tend to lessen down the cognitive development due to which “children with few siblings score higher on tests of cognitive skills than children with many siblings” (Downey, 2001). However, I do not totally agree because I believe that parental attention is that kind of abstract source that cannot be lessened with each coming child in the family. Parents have the ability to increase their scope of energy and attention as they deal with more kids. Azmitia and Hesser (2008) studied how older siblings and older peers affect the cognitive development of younger siblings. They conducted a pottest in which younger children got instructions from their older siblings and peers. The researchers found that “siblings are unique agents of cognitive development” (p.430) and that the children who imitated and followed their elder siblings showed higher pottest scores that those who followed their peers. They also found the older siblings more happily offered their guidance than did the peers. I agree with this because it is natural for a sibling to help another sibling more than any outsider can do. There is a very important research by Begum and Blacher (2010) who studied the influence of gender, age and family
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