A new study published in Psychological Medicine concludes that often ignored trauma from sibling bullying may lead to serious mental health problems
According to a study by the University of Warwick published February 12 in Psychological Medicine, children who are perpetrators or victims of sibling bullying could be at greater risk of developing mental health conditions that involve psychosis, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Researchers say parents and health professionals should be aware of the importance of interventions to lessen or even prevent this form of hostility in families.
“Bullying by siblings has been until recently widely ignored as a trauma that may lead to serious mental health problems such as psychotic disorder,” said senior author of the study, Professor Dieter Wolke, from the University of Warwick’s Department of Psychology. “Children spend substantial time with their siblings in the confinement of their family home and if bullied and excluded, this can lead to social defeat and self-blame and a serious mental health disorder—as shown here for the first time.”
For the study, nearly 3,600 12-year-olds from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a UK-based birth cohort study, completed a detailed questionnaire on sibling bullying.
While 664 were victims of sibling bullying, 486 were pure bullies to their siblings and a majority, 771, were both bullies to siblings and victimized by sibling bullying.
After they turned 18, the study participants then filled out a standardized clinical examination assessing psychotic symptoms.
The results: 55 of the 3,600 participants had developed a psychotic disorder by the time they turned 18.
Going deeper into the results revealed if kids are bullied by siblings even just several times a week or month, they are about two to three times more likely to develop a psychotic disorder than other children.
The results also show children who are victims of sibling bullying and become bullies themselves are the most likely to develop a psychotic disorder.
The risk of developing a psychotic disorder increases even more if a child is victimized both at home and by school peers—these kids are four times as likely to develop a psychotic disorder, the study found.
“If the bullying occurs at home and at school the risk for psychotic disorder is even higher. These adolescents have no safe place,” said the study’s first author, Slava Dantchev. “Although we controlled for many pre-existing mental health and social factors, it cannot be excluded that the social relationship problems may be early signs of developing serious mental health problems rather than their cause.”
Enhanced primary care helps reduce ER visits October 1, 2020, CHAPEL HILL, NC—Integrating primary care services and behavioral health services appears to reduce emergency room visits among people with severe psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder, a new study suggests. American researchers, using the customary term “serious mental illness,” noted that individuals with such conditions...
At-risk kids may have dysregulated coping mechanisms December 1, 2020, RIZE, Turkey—A new study has found distinct psychological features among children at high risk for bipolar disorder due to observable symptoms or family history. The Turkish study compared high-risk kids to children without risk factors. They found the high-risk kids were less likely to suppress...
Whether you live with bipolar or love someone who does, you can find comfort, wisdom, and strategies (maybe even a good laugh!) in these inspirational books. We can lose ourselves in the power of the written word, compelled by the raw emotions, deep insights, and humorous takes offered by others like us—people who share our...
I’m an expert in bipolar management, yet I still have frequent mood swings and deal with symptoms regularly. Shouldn’t I have “solved” this by now? Shouldn’t I have “recovered”? Bipolar Disorder, Expertise, & Mood Management I’ve been writing books about bipolar disorder management since 1998, and my webpage started in 2002. How is it possible...