Peer bullying has long been recognized and dealt with as a serious problem in our society. But according to studies done by "Pediatrics Journal," sibling bullying has been viewed as normal sibling rivalry.
When all 12 of the Katona siblings were younger, they say there wasn't much bullying amongst them.
"We'd say things that weren't necessarily very kind to each other, or maybe every once in a while be physical, especially when we were competing with sports," said Dustin Katona, 30, the fifth born in the Katona family.
I asked, "Would you believe those would be considered as sibling bullying or sibling rivalry?"
"Sibling rivalry. Most of it was pretty healthy. I think that's understood," Dustin said.
There are four different types of sibling bullying: mild physical assault, severe physical assault, property aggression, and psychological aggression.
"The relationship between siblings is different than that between peers, and there's more emotions involved--there's love involved, and that youth is in a double-bind situation," said Dr. Gary Wautier PhD, Clinical Psychologist at Marquette General Hospital.
According to a study done by the University of New Hampshire, about 32 percent of children and adolescents with at least one sibling younger than 18 living with them reported experiencing one type of sibling victimization in the past year.
Eight percent reported being the victim of two or more types.
"It's difficult to leave that bully and go home, persay, from school, so it certainly can be even more of a potentially harmful situation," Dr. Wautier said.
The study also showed sibling bullying can be just as harmful as peer bullying.
"There's certainly the typical sibling shenanigans, people may call it, but when it becomes more directed and more uni-directional from potentially one sibling towards another, for example, then certainly it can become more of a bullying situation," Dr. Wautier said.
But even with twelve children living in the home, the Katonas say the children learned how to live in harmony with one another.
"It's very fulfilling," said John Katona, father of the 12 siblings.
"A lot of them seem to be good friends," said Judy Katona, mother of the 12 siblings.
"Yeah, they do," John said.
"They do a lot of things together," Judy added.
"Yeah, they gravitate together. This last spring, we did, for the very first time, the all-Katona basketball team," John said.