All in the Family: A Retrospective Study Comparing Sibling Bullying and Peer Bullying

Lori A. Hoetger, Katherine P. Hazen, Eve M. Brank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Extensive bullying research has primarily focused on activities between peers in school settings, but some evidence suggests bullying may occur in other situations. If so, other contexts could potentially benefit from the wealth of peer bullying research. A sample of 392 young adults answered questions about their experiences with sibling and peer bullying behaviors. Participants also provided responses concerning a sibling or peer vignette that focused on reporting bullying behaviors. Results indicated that participants view bullying behaviors between peers and siblings as somewhat similar, but sibling bullying behaviors compared to peer bullying behaviors are reported to be perpetrated and experienced more often. When considering a hypothetical situation such sibling bullying behaviors, however, are less likely to be reported outside the family than peer bullying behaviors. Additionally, females are more likely than males to report outside the family. Participants who had more prior involvement in bullying are less likely to say they would report the described sibling bullying behaviors. Considering sibling bullying may not be thought of as bullying and may not be reported outside the family, implications for policy and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Adolescents
  • Bullying
  • Family violence
  • Retrospective
  • Sibling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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