Researchers at the University of Oxford have uncovered evidence suggesting that being regularly bullied by a sibling as a child increases a person’s risk of developing depression.
In a revolutionary study, 7,000 children aged 12 were asked if they had experienced a sibling hitting, ignoring, lying or saying hurtful things to them.
Six years later when the children turned 18, they were followed up and asked questions about their mental health.
Of the 786 children who said they had experienced bullying by a sibling at the age of 12, 12.3% reported having depression, 16% had anxiety and 14% had self-harmed.
Although many of those who said they had not been bullied did show signs of depression, self-harm and anxiety, the percentages were significantly lower. At the age of 18, only 6.4% had depression, 9.3% had experienced anxiety and 7.6% had self-harmed.
Researchers found that girls were slightly more likely to be bullied by their siblings than...