Rivalry, Jealousy, & Aggressive Messages: An Examination of Negative Discourse in Emerging-adult Sibling Relationships

by Tyonia Zimmerman
Communication Studies
Faculty advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Lamoureux

“For some, siblings comprise the closest, most important bond in life; for others, they can be a source of frustration, rivalry, and ambivalence” (Floyd, 1994., p 1). Because the relationship among siblings varies across a lifespan, the focus of this research will examine the relationship among siblings emerging into adulthood, specifically those between the ages of 18 and 24. In addition to research on birth order, the following communication theories will be used to help examine the role of negative discourse among emerging-adult siblings: Altman and Taylor`s Social Penetration Theory, O` Keefe`s Message Design Logic, and Watzlawick`s Interactional View.