Twin rivalry in childhood

Hila Segal*, Ariel Knafo-Noam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Being a twin is central in the lives of individuals and families around the world and across the lifespan. This chapter discusses the special relationships twins have, focusing on twins' rivalry in childhood, from the psychodynamic and evolutionary perspectives combined with empirical research. The theoretical perspectives and research findings illuminate the complex relationships twins share: on one hand, twins enjoy unique closeness and dependence in their relationships stemming from their shared experiences starting from the womb till old age. On the other hand, from infancy, twins compete for their parents' love and resources, competition that can result in rivalry. Accordingly, two main issues are dealt with in this chapter: first, the association between twins' competitiveness toward each other and their jealousy for parents' attention; and second, the association between rivalry and dependence in twins' relationships. Moreover, the chapter elaborates on differences between rivalry of monozygotic (identical) and dizygotic (same-sex and opposite-sex fratental) twins. We hope that this chapter will help parents and educators better understand their twins' dilemmas, and raise them in a way that maximizes the benefits of being twins.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Psychology of Rivalry
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781536141733
ISBN (Print)9781536141726
StatePublished - 9 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


  • Closeness
  • Competition
  • Dependence
  • Evolutionary perspective
  • Psychoanalytic perspective
  • Rivalry
  • Twins
  • Twins' relationships


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