Alexander Kriss, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and author based in New York. He received his doctorate from The New School for Social Research and completed his clinical internship at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Kriss works in private practice and serves as a clinical supervisor at The New School and the City College of New York, and is an adjunct professor of psychology at Fordham University. His writing has appeared in various academic and popular forums, and his first book, Universal Play: How Videogames Tell Us Who We Are and Show Us Who We Could Be, will be published later this year by Little, Brown. Dr. Kriss’s work in attachment research has taken place under the guidance of Drs. Howard and Miriam Steele, also at The New School, where he helped develop the coding manual for and expand validity studies of the Friends and Family Interview (FFI), a narrative attachment protocol designed specifically for late childhood and adolescent respondents.
The Effects of Security and Concordance on Sibling Relationships: Results from a Longitudinal Attachment Study
After decades of marginalization, sibling relationships have established a small but promising foundation in psychological research, but one that still suffers from a lack of sound theoretical underpinnings. Attachment theory, with its focus on how the family environment affects autonomic, psychological, and social functioning, is uniquely suited to help us understand the complexity of how sibling relationships develop. Our 16-year longitudinal study of parents and adolescent sibling pairs suggests that concordance or discordance of internal working models between siblings has a significant impact on the quality of the sibling relationship, even beyond attachment security itself. We combine this striking empirical result—which challenges conventional notions that the siblings dynamic forms subordinately to the parent-child relationship—with phenomenological observations in order to propose a new attachment-based model of sibling relationships.