[Source Medical News Today]
“Mom! He splashed me on purpose!” “No I didn’t – it was an accident!” Arguments over whether one sibling intended to harm another are a common soundtrack for parents with more than one kid. New research from Concordia University in Montreal shows that some children are more likely than others to believe that their brother or sister is deliberately trying to harm them.
The results have important implications. “Regularly attributing hostile intent to a sibling can signal a deeper problem,” says Holly Recchia, assistant professor in the Department of Education.
How kids relate to their brother or sister can affect other social interactions. “Low-quality relationships between siblings have been linked to aggression and violence, which are in turn related to a host of harmful outcomes, including depression, anxiety and behavioural problems like delinquency,” Recchia says.
In a study recently published in Social Development, Recchia investigated how six- to eight-year-olds interpret ambiguous provocation. She and her team presented 121 children with scenarios in which siblings, friends and disliked peers of similar ages were described as the perpetrators of harm.