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Dr. Jonathan Caspi’s Sibling Research Featured in Psychology Today

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Feature image for Jonathan Caspi Featured in NY Times Article on Sibling Relationships

The research of Dr. Jonathan Caspi, Family Science and Human Development Professor was recently featured in Psychology Today.

The term “sibling rivalry” can mislead parents, leading them to ignore sibling abuse.

In his 2012 book Sibling Aggression, Jonathan Caspi noted that this normalization isn’t just limited to laypeople but to professionals as well. He writes that despite a growing body of research that shows otherwise, “the mistaken belief that sibling violence is not harmful normalizes it. Statements such as ‘My brother beat on me and I am fine’ and ‘Boys will be boys’ minimize honest appraisals of possible effects and validate its continued use.” He notes that practitioners too grew up with the same social context—thinking that sibling aggression is normal—and so their judgments about family dynamics are often clouded by their own internalized views. He surmises that this point of view limits research as well. He uses sibling aggression as an umbrella term that encompasses four categories which he arranges in order of effect, going from most mild to severe; in order, they are competition, conflict, violence, and abuse.

Read the complete story at Psychology Today