Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research

2014 Edition
| Editors: Alex C. Michalos

Violence in USA, Sibling

  • Jessie L. KrienertEmail author
  • Jeffrey A. Walsh
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_4163



Sibling violence includes emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse of one sibling by another. Often relabeled or reinterpreted as sibling rivalry or conflict, sibling violence is so common that few families/parents recognize it as a deviant or criminal behavior. Although often labeled as aggression,  violence, conflict, or abuse, rarely is sibling violence labeled as criminal. Parents often minimize sibling violence, even when the behavior, were it not committed by a sibling, would certainly meet the elements of an officially recognized crime.


Often regarded as the most prevalent though least studied form of  family violence (see Eriksen & Jensen, 2006), more than 29 million American children engage in sibling violence each year (Gelles & Straus, 1988). It is estimated that sibling violence occurs at higher rates than any other form of family violence (Hoffman, Kiecolt, &...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Criminal Justice SciencesIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA