A collaborative study has shown that experiencing regular bullying by a sibling as a child almost doubles the risk of depression when one is older.
The research, which was carried out by Oxford, Bristol, and Warwick universities, asked around 7,000 children aged 12 if they had experienced a sibling saying hurtful things, hitting, ignoring them or lying about them.
The children were followed up at 18 and asked about their mental health.
Those who had experienced such bullying were approximately twice as likely to experience depression, anxiety, and to self-harm as those who had not.
The researchers concluded that “being bullied by a sibling is a potential risk factor for depression and self-harm in early adulthood”. They suggest that interventions to address this should be designed and tested.