Sibling Fights Linked To Poor Mental Health In Children And Adolescents, Says New Study

Mental Health News: Researchers at University of New Hampshire found that sibling aggression is associated with significantly worse mental health in children and adolescents. In some cases, effects of sibling aggression on mental health were the same as those of peer aggression.

Researchers accessed data from the center’s National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV) and analysed a national sample of 3,599 children, ages one month through 17. The team studied the effects of physical assault with and without a weapon or injury, property aggression like breaking a siblings’ things on purpose, and psychological aggression such as saying things that made a sibling feel bad

Results revealed 32 percent of children experiencing one type of sibling victimization in the past year, mental health distress was greater for children (1 month to age 9) than for adolescents (age 10 — 17) who experienced mild sibling physical assault. Researchers found children and adolescents were similarly affected by other psychological or property aggression from siblings.

“Our study shows that sibling aggression is not benign for children and adolescents, regardless of how severe or frequent,” said Corinna Jenkins Tucker, associate professor of family studies at UNH and lead author of the research.

The study findings published in the journal Pediatrics have important implications for parents and caregivers to take sibling aggression seriously and develop approaches to mediate sibling conflicts.

To Know More You May Also Refer To:

Tucker, C. J., Finkelhor, D., Turner, H., & Shattuck, A. (2013). Association of sibling aggression with child and adolescent mental health. PEDIATRICS, 132(1), 79-84. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2012-3801

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