Brothers and sisters who fight while growing up are likely to continue their battering behavior with their dates when they go to college, a new study finds.
Findings from the University of Florida suggest that sibling violence--the most common and least understood form of family conflict--is not harmless. Fighting between brothers and sisters may be an important influence on later violence between intimate partners.
The study, which surveyed 538 men and women, found that dating violence was more common among partners who had punched, shoved, or otherwise abused their siblings than those who had not.
Siblings learn violence as a form of manipulation and control as they compete with each other for family resources, says Virginia Noland, University of Florida health education professor. They carry on these bullying behaviors to dating, the next peer relationship in which they have an emotional investment.
The highest level of sibling violence was found between two brothers. …