Bullying by siblings can be damaging too, study says
Bullying and aggressive behavior by a sibling can be as damaging as bullying by another peer, finds a new study that links it to increased depression, anxiety and anger among victimized kids and teenagers.
And that association holds true for the types of aggressive behavior studied, both mild and severe, from physical and psychological to property victimization, researchers say.
Although peer bullying has increasingly become a recognized problem and the focus of preventive efforts, sibling bullying has historically been viewed as “benign and normal and even beneficial” for a child's social development and ability “to learn to handle aggression in other relationships,” according to the study in the July issue of the journal Pediatrics and published online on Sunday.
The study “shows that sibling aggression is linked to worse mental health (for the victim), and in some cases it's similar to what you find for peer aggression,” says lead author Corinna Jenkins Tucker, an associate professor of family studies at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.
Tucker and colleagues analyzed data from The National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence, focusing on nearly 3,600 kids 17 and younger with at least one sibling living in the household. Kids were interviewed by phone about victimization in the past year.
Just as parental violence and marital violence occur in families, “sibling violence happens as well,” says Nicole Campione-Barr, director of the Family Relationships and Adolescent Development Lab at the University of Missouri. “This is something we really need to be aware of.”
She was not involved in the new study.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.