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Kutztown University Professor, Student Coauthor Book

April 22, 2014

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Kutztown University associate professor of psychology Avidan Milevsky and senior psychology major Kristie Thudium have coauthored the upcoming book, "The Transitory Nature of Parent, Sibling and Romantic Partner Relationships in Emerging Adulthood." The book, which focuses on how sibling, parent and romantic relationships shift and influence each other in emerging adulthood, will be available in June from Springer Publishing.

Milevsky's first book on sibling relationships, "Sibling Relationships in Childhood and Adolescence: Predictors and Outcomes," which was published by Columbia University Press in Aug. 2011, emphasized how important the sibling relationship is within lifespan development, and the lifelong benefits of a good sibling relationship. According to Milevsky, healthy sibling relationships during childhood and adolescence contribute to later academic and social success, as well as better psychological well-being. In the book, Milevsky also discusses what parents can do to maximize the probability of their children developing a close bond.

"When parents invest in their children's sibling relationships early on, they give a gift that can last for 80 years," he said. "A bond with our siblings is the longest relationship we can possible have - a gift parents can give their children better than any iPad or piece of technology. A bond with your sibling isn't going to become outdated in a year or two."

Milevsky and Thudium's upcoming publication expands on the content from his first book by examining how sibling, parent-child and romantic relationships interconnect in emerging adulthood. Emerging adulthood is a relatively new developmental stage, which occurs roughly between 18 - 25, and bridges the turbulence of adolescence and the steadiness of adulthood.   

Over the past five years, Milevsky's research at KU has been very student-centered, and several of his publications and presentations feature student-coauthors.

"Students are integral to doing the work," he explained. "That's the beauty of psychology - with the right training, they can really jump in and get started on research. Kristie's been working on this project with me for several years now. She's a gifted writer and has contributed both to the conceptualization and the writing. It's introduced a new level of student involvement in my work."

Thudium, who became interested in conducting research after attending a presentation on graduate school for psychology, started out by working on literature reviews and preliminary research. Soon, she was writing, and discovered a love for research and an interest in the new field of emerging adulthood. In May, she will present her research on romantic partners in emerging adulthood at the annual Association for Psychological Sciences conference. Thudium has recently been accepted to a graduate program in applied psychology, at the University of Pennsylvania.

What's up next for this dynamic duo?

Milevsky and Thudium are beginning research for another co-authored book. This time, they plan to explore how having a sibling with a disability impacts the sibling relationship. They are currently interviewing people who have siblings with disabilities, and intend to develop a section for their book that outlines strategies to ameliorate problems encountered by siblings whose relationship is affected by a disability.

In addition, Milevsky's third book, "Understanding Adolescents for Helping Professionals," which gives practitioners who work with adolescents a deep understanding of various aspects of their physical, cognitive and social development, will be released in the fall by Springer Publishing.

For more information about their co-authored book, please visit http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/wellbeing+%26+quality-of-life/book/978-3-319-06637-0.