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J Interpers Violence. 2013 May;28(8):1726-36. doi: 10.1177/0886260512468327. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Profiles of sibling bullying.

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Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA.


Considerable research has been done on childhood bullying, including its antecedents and consequences. Yet, with all of the attention on bullying, particularly school bullying, sibling bullying has been vastly overlooked. Sibling bullying is a type of violence prevalent in the lives of most children, but little is known about the phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to profile sibling bullying by examining prevalence rates, the extent to which siblings perceive sibling bullying to be normative, and victim-perpetrator differences in perceptions of sibling bullying. Twenty-seven sibling pairs who wrote stories about personal experiences of sibling bullying and victimization completed questionnaires about these experiences and responded to their sibling partners' stories. Of the siblings surveyed, 78% reported being bullied by their sibling and 85% reported bullying their sibling during their childhood. This is far greater than published statistics on peer bullying. Not surprisingly, victims viewed sibling bullying more negatively than perpetrators. Sadly, there was a norm of acceptance of sibling bullying among most of the sibling pairs. Practical implications are discussed.

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