The Importance of Spacing

While researchers do not always agree on how spacing (the years between each birth) between siblings influences personality and behavior, there is a general belief that children have an easier adjustment if siblings are not extremely close in age. Sibling rivalry does have a tendency to decrease as the age spread increases, which may result in better-adjusted children. Research indicates that this rivalry is at a peak when there is two year's difference between children. Other variables such as parenting styles, gender, and physical/mental characteristics of the child seem to have more influence on behavioral outcomes than spacing.

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