Being bullied by siblings, friends increases suicidal thoughts

Washington: While depression in itself might cause people to cause self-harm or think of suicide, these thoughts become more prominent in adults in the early twenties who had been bullied at their home or school by friends or even siblings for that matter.

Using the Children of the 90s study, researchers have discovered that children who were bullied by siblings had more mental health issues in adulthood.

If they were also bullied by peers this risk increased further.
Previous studies have identified that sibling bullying has an effect on mental health in adolescence, however, researchers in this study found children who were bullied by siblings and friends are more likely to harm themselves.

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These findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.
Researchers show there is a long shadow thrown by sibling bullying on self-harm, suicide attempts, and depression at 24 years of age.

To derive the findings, participants were asked to self-report bullying when they were 12 years old, whilst depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and self-harm were assessed at 24 years old.

Of 3,881 youths studied it was found that 31.2 per cent experienced bullying by a sibling.

Of those who both became victims and bullied siblings 15.1 per cent were diagnosed with clinical depression, 35.7 per cent experienced suicidal ideation and 16.1 per cent self-harmed with a further 4.9 per cent with the intent of suicide.

Those who experienced sibling bullying and peer bullying had double the odds of developing clinical depression and consider suicide.

Dr Slava Dantchev of the University of Warwick and the University of Vienna said: “This is the first study to show that being bullied by siblings has adverse effects on mental health into adulthood when the siblings are not living together anymore. Those bullied at home are also more likely to be bullied by peers and have no safe space at school or at home.”

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