Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 135-146

First online:

Psychological maltreatment by siblings: An unrecognized form of abuse

  • Ellen E. WhippleAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, Michigan State University
  • , Sara E. FintonAffiliated with

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Psychological maltreatment between siblings is one of the most common yet often underrecognized forms of child abuse. Whether it occurs in conjunction with other maltreatment or in isolation, sibling psychological abuse can have harmful effects on family members. Such impaired interactions are often indicative of larger problems within the family system. This article brings attention to an important family dynamic through the use of a case example, and offers suggestions for assessment and intervention approaches.