HEALTH

Sibling bullying just as harmful as bullying at school, study says

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A new study indicates that the detrimental effects of bullying may not be limited to school campuses and playgrounds - it could also be just as damaging in the home.

The study, which is published in the latest edition of the journal Pediatrics, concludes that even the mildest cases of aggression and bullying among siblings are just as harmful as those experienced at school.

According to the Huffington Post, the study says that minimal bullying from a brother or sister can cause increased mental distress than those children who were not harassed by a sibling.

“If you don’t have parents you can rely on I totally agree bullying can be just as harmful,” says Alexa Shulman of Bethesda.

Shulman comes from a family of three children. Her mother says parents need to be mindful of when sibling rivalry crosses the line.

“I actually think the parents need to teach their kids how to relate to one another and how to be kind to one another, the same thing they would want them to do out in the world,” Shulman says.

Researchers also concluded that children are more susceptible to greater mental distress due to sibling bullying before age 9 than they are as teenagers.

"The findings clearly connect sibling aggression with youth mental health difficulties," Susan Swearer, the co-director of the Bullying Research Network, told the Huffington Post.

Children’s National Medical Center child psychologist Dr. Eleanor Mackey says sibling bullying can have long-term ramifications.

“If a child is coming home and feeling like it is not safe for some reason, that they’re going to get teased or their things might get taken or someone is going to be mean to them, that can be very damaging and harmful because they don’t have a safe place to go,” Mackey says.

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