Sibling Abuse

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Publication Date


Journal Title

Handbook of Behavioral Criminology


While other forms of domestic violence, such as child and partner abuse have been widely recognized by the clinical world as matters of a serious nature (which has been demonstrated through research, intervention programs, and public outreach), sibling abuse has remained largely ignored over the past 40 years (Ammerman & Hersen, 1991; Caspi, 2012; Kiselica & Morrill-Richards, 2007; Morrill & Bachman, 2013; Phillips-Green, 2002). As sibling abuse has not received much recognition by professionals and, consequently, the public, it is a phenomenon often dismissed and misunderstood. Given the hidden nature of sibling abuse, this form of domestic violence tends to last over a long period of time and is may result in devastating long-term consequences. The handful of studies that have been conducted related to sibling abuse have found that both survivors and perpetrators experience a higher risk of developmental delays, depression, low self-esteem, deficits related to interpersonal competencies, drug abuse, and dating violence than those who have not survived or perpetrated sibling abuse (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 2005; Caspi, 2012; Duncan, 1999; Morrill-Richards, 2009; Morrill-Richards & Leierer, 2010).