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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This is for anyone who grew up with older siblings. If you got picked on non-stop, there may be a reason for it.
Brotherly love and sisterly affection, that sounds good but we all know how siblings can get. According to a study released by the American Psychological Association last week, children with more than one sibling are more likely to fall victim to sibling bullying and the bully is more often the oldest child and especially the older brother.
“Bullying occurs in situations where we cannot choose our peers, like in families,” said Dr. Dieter Wolke, a co-author of the study from the University of Warwick.
Researchers say that bullying was found to be more prevalent in families with three or more children due to a child’s biological urge to secure family resources – like affection.
The study suggested that parents should intervene in psychological, emotional or physical bullying early.
One method is to include first born children in the care of a younger sibling.
“It will be important for parents to realize and understand that resource loss can affect an old child,” said Wolke.
Wolke and his team also found that sibling bullying does not discriminate.
“It occurs in wealthy families just as much as lower-income families and it occurs in single-parent households’ just as much as two-parent households,” said Wolke.