More Than Sibling Rivalry

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Story Updated: Jun 18, 2013

But a new study now suggests we need to pay more attention to bullying on the home-front.

As part of a National Survey on Children's Exposure to Violence, researchers interviewed more than 35-hundred kids or their parents about aggression displayed by their siblings and peers.

They assessed the range and extent of bullying by brothers and sisters...looking at everything from unkind words to physical violence. Each child's mental health was also assessed.

The results showed that sibling aggression in the past year was associated with significantly worse mental health for both children and adolescents, with children

9 years and under showing the greatest distress. And the negative effects were evident in both mild and severe cases of bullying.

Parents and others often minimize aggressive behavior among siblings...thinking it's just part of normal sibling rivalry but the researchers say this study shows it needs to be treated as potentially harmful and should not be dismissed as minor.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with information that can help keep your family healthy.

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