Sibling spats may seem like a normal part of growing up, but a new study suggests they may be a health hazard.
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire surveyed 3,600 kids across the country. They found that more kids are not just picking on younger brothers and sisters, they're actually bullying them.
And, those who were pushed around – physically or verbally – by a sibling had higher scores on measure of depression and anxiety symptoms.
The researchers said the effects of sibling bullying could be just as bad as being harassed by a peer, which has been linked to an increased risk for psychological problems come adulthood.
"Even kids who reported just one instance had more mental health distress," Corinna Jenkins Tucker, an associate professor of family studies at UNH, said in a press release. "Our study shows that sibling aggression is not benign for children and adolescents, regardless of how severe or frequent."
Often sibling aggression is dismissed as normal. But the team believes their findings suggest parents should not turn a blind eye to this behavior in their own kids.
KDFW FOX 4
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