Brothers and sisters who fight while growing up lay the groundwork for battering their dates by the time they get to college, reports a University of Florida study.
The research team discovered that strong sibling clashes are a predictor of dating violence and are compounded by the experience of growing up in families where parent-to-child or parent-to-parent violence exists, says Virginia Noland, a University of Florida professor of health science education.
Siblings learn violence as a form of manipulation and control as they compete with each other for family resources, Noland explains. Unlike other forms of damaging family interaction, sibling squabbles are often considered harmless. They aren’t. “Childhood is the ideal time to intervene with anger-management techniques that teach violence is not acceptable,” Noland says. “Our siblings are our first friends. We learn so much from them.”
(University of Florida)