This chapter begins with a simple description of the family in terms of the three family subsystems described in the family therapy literature. Continuing from the previous chapter, it contends that sibling relationships are much more complex that they have perhaps been portrayed to be, arising within families which are themselves exceedingly complex social units, and considers the factors that make such relationships so complex (size, influences of other relationships, levels of influences). The chapter proceeds to consider the temporal dimension: how sibling relationships change over time.
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