Study: Sibling Rivalry Can Lead To Depression

CBS St. Louis

Columbia, Miss. (CBS ST. LOUIS) — Anxiety, depression and low self-esteem are all at risk during the holiday season for siblings fighting amongst themselves.

A University of Missouri study published Thursday in the Child Development journal finds that siblings sparring for personal space and equality is increased during the holiday season. “Equality and fairness” issues are brought to a breaking point, and competition over simple chores can trigger negative emotions.

The study involves 145 pairs of mostly caucasian, middle-class siblings, who were followed for over one year starting in either Grade 8, 10 or 12. The majority of pairs were two years apart and lived in the same home. Researchers then asked the siblings to describe their conflicts, noting frequency and how intense or “hot” the fights were. The authors didn’t ask questions such as, “Who started it,” knowing it would lead to completely opposite responses.

When asked about self-esteem…

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