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Normal sibling conflict? Or bullying behavior?

December 2, 2014
Christine Malecki and Michelle Demaray

Christine Malecki
and Michelle Demaray

Sure, we all know brothers and sisters will squabble from time to time – NIU psychology researchers say sibling conflict is normal.

But parents should be aware that the fighting can cross a line and enter bullying territory, with harmful effects.

NIU psychology professors Christine Malecki and Michelle Demaray blog on the topic this week on the Psychology Today website.

The researchers, who study bullying in schools, provide a list of five signs that sibling fighting might be bullying and also outline ways that parents can intervene.

In a recent study, Malecki and Demaray found that bullying by siblings predicted anxiety, depression and social stress – even above and beyond peer bullying.

NIU psychology professors are regular Psychology Today contributors. Other blog entries have included: