Sibling Rivalry Can Prove More Problematic Than Bullying
There’s nothing quite like a sibling, and in terms of damage to mental health, one new study suggests there’s nothing quite like the problems sibling rivalry can cause. The long term effects of those negative interactions, according to the study, traumatize children far worse and can lead to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and anger, even later in life.
The study was commissioned by the CDC and the DOJ, and it found that a whopping 32 percent of those who suffered aggressive behavior at the hands of siblings suffered from distress and anxiety, suggesting that situations in families should be treated just like peer bullying. Nearly half of all children with siblings have been the victim of physical violence, and 15 percent of those have suffered repeated attacks, but it’s often dismissed as horseplay by the family.
The results of the study suggest that because sibling aggression affects look so much like bullying, parental intervention is essential because the effects can persist into adulthood, essentially destroying a child’s sense of identity and self-esteem levels.
Researchers suggested PSAs aimed at bullying prevention in schools should include this form of bullying as well, and parents should be educated to help kids learn the right conflict intervention skills.