While torment at the hands of an older sibling might seem like a rite of passage, it’s just as dangerous to a child’s mental health as bullying by peers at school, researchers say. They warn parents to take cases of ‘sibling aggression’ seriously.
By Rheana Murray / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Whether it’s at school with peers or at home with siblings, bullying has a detrimental effect on children’s health. Sibling bullying is just as detrimental as being terrorized by peers at school, a new study finds.
Bullying by a brother or sister is “an unrecognized form of violence” that parents too often consider “benign and normal and even beneficial for their children’s social development and their ability to handle aggression in other relationships,” Dr. Corinna Jenkins Tucker and colleagues wrote in the study, published in the July issue of Pediatrics.
They analyzed data from more than 3,500 telephone interviews with children up to age 17, and found victims of bullying had poorer mental health, regardless of whether the abuse was from a sibling or peer.
Researchers assessed three types of aggression: physical, psychological and property (including theft or ruining someone’s belongings.)
Distress was worse among children up to age 9 than it was for adolescents