12 / 2
      6 / -5
      4 / -7

      Sibling Bullying:What are the effects?

      Peer bullying has been examined for some time now, but recently, sibling bullying has been in the spotlight. And now experts are saying sibling bullying can have just as negative an effect as peer bullying on the victim.

      The Katonas say their 12 children never really fought and bullied each other like some siblings do, even though they were all living under the same roof for a time.

      "The younger ones sort of look up to the older ones," said Judy Katona, mother of the 12 siblings.

      "Which really made our job a lot easier," said John Katona, father.

      "And I think that's why they all like basketball so much, because the oldest one liked basketball, and it just caught on," Judy added.

      "They all seemed to follow with it," John said.

      However, not all siblings are like the Katona family, and sibling bullying can have lasting effects on the victims, just like peer bullying.

      "Certainly the more children you have, the more potential complex variables there could be among the kids and their own sets of personalities, their own sets of temperaments," said Dr. Gary Wautier, PhD, Clinical Psychologist at Marquette General Hospital.

      According to a study by the University of New Hampshire, mental health distress scores were greater for children than for adolescents who experienced mild physical assault, but kids and teens were similarly affected by the other forms of sibling aggression.

      The study also shows even kids who reported just one type of sibling aggression in the past year had higher distress scores than kids who reported none.

      "You may see the one that is being more the victim begin to show some signs of being more submissive or potentially more sad, or potentially more withdrawn or anxious, or just having problems with assertion," Dr. Wautier explained.

      Dustin Katona says even though he and his siblings didn't fight much, when they did, it was usually verbal and short-lived.

      "There was a healthy role model approach going on there that I think diminished the bullying, but also, I guess, natural progress that occurred as well," said Dustin.

      For more information about sibling bullying, click here.