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Journal ArticleDOI

Measurement of Sibling Violence A Two-Factor Model of Severity

01 Jan 2013-Criminal Justice and Behavior (SAGE Publications)-Vol. 40, Iss: 1, pp 26-39

Abstract: The measurement of violence is a major challenge in aggression research. Because of the heterogeneous nature of violent behavior, problems arise when applying blanket measures to inherently distinc...
Topics: Aggression (52%)

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Article
Measurement of Sibling Violence: A Two-
Factor Model of Severity
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Khan, Roxanne ORCID: 0000-0002-3485-2450 and Cooke, David J (2013)
Measurement of Sibling Violence: A Two-Factor Model of Severity. Criminal
Justice and Behavior, 40 (1). pp. 26-39. ISSN 0093-8548
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MEASUREMENT OF SIBLING VIOLENCE 1
Running head: MEASUREMENT OF SIBLING VIOLENCE
Measurement of Sibling Violence: A 2-Factor Model of Severity
Roxanne Khan
University of Central Lancashire
David J. Cooke
Glasgow Caledonian University
Authors’ note
Roxanne Khan, School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE,
UK
David. J. Cooke, Department of Psychology, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, G3
7UY, UK
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. Roxanne Khan,
School of Psychology, Darwin Building, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1
2HE, UK. E-mail: RKhan2@uclan.ac.uk

MEASUREMENT OF SIBLING VIOLENCE 2
Abstract
The measurement of violence is a major challenge in aggression research. Due to the
heterogeneous nature of violent behavior, problems arise when applying blanket-measures to
inherently distinct sub-types of aggression. Incidents of inter-sibling violence (ISV)
exacerbate these problems because siblinghood represents a unique offender-victim situation.
This research explored whether an existing 2-factor model for severe violence found in a
sample of 250 adult offenders (mean age=26.8; SD=5.9) could be generalized to deliberate
severe ISV in a sample of 111 young offenders (mean age=14.83, SD=1.45). Exploratory
factor analysis revealed a 2-factor model encompassing severe ISV perpetration with weapon
use (factor 1) and severe ISV perpetration without weapon use (factor 2). The results provide
strong empirical support for the 2-factor model of violence severity previously established
with adult offenders. This analysis demonstrates construct validity of the severity measures
amongst the different types of offenders studied and provides support for generalization
across populations.
Keywords: siblings; violence; aggression; factor structure; weapons; young offenders

MEASUREMENT OF SIBLING VIOLENCE 3
Measurement of Sibling Violence: A 2-Factor Model of Severity
No longer at the periphery, inter-sibling violence (ISV) is increasingly being
recognized as a pervasive form of family violence (Caspi, 2012). Prevalence data suggests
the violence committed by brothers and/or sisters against siblings is the most common form
of physical aggression within any familial context (e.g., Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI), 1998; Finkelhor, Ormrod, Turner, & Hamby, 2005; Straus, Gelles, & Steinmetz, 1980;
Straus & Gelles, 1990). This is reflected in recent childhood and adolescence ISV rates which
range between 83% and 86.3% for victimization and perpetration respectively (see Hardy,
Beers, Burgess, & Taylor, 2010; Mackey, Fromuth, & Kelly, 2010; Reese-Weber, 2008).
These figures establish sibling violence as a ubiquitous problem experienced by many young
people within the confines of an interpersonal relationship.
Unsurprisingly, there are many negative outcomes associated with ISV victimization.
Child victims report loneliness (Duncan, 1999), anxiety, depression (Stocker, Burwell, &
Briggs, 2002) and display severe behavioral problems (Rosenthal & Doherty, 1984;
Stormshak, Bellanti, & Bierman, 1996), including a range of trauma symptoms (Caffaro &
Conn-Caffaro, 1998; Finklehor, Turner, & Ormrod, 2006). In adulthood, ISV victims report
eating disorders (Wiehe, 1997), substance and alcohol misuse (Button & Gealt, 2010), high
levels of anxiety (Graham-Bermann, Cutler, Litzenberger, & Schwartz, 1994), depression and
suicide attempts (Wiehe, 1997). ISV is additionally linked with antisocial and violent
behavior in adolescence and adulthood (e.g. Button & Gealt, 2010; Gully, Dengerink,
Pepping, & Bergstrom, 1981; Hendy, Burns, Can, & Scherer, 2011; Noland, Liller,
McDermott, Coulter, & Seraphine, 2004; Rothman, Johnson, Azrael, Hall, & Weinberg,
2010; Simonelli, Mullis, Elliott, & Pierce, 2002). Despite these findings, explanatory and
exploratory research into ISV perpetration and victimization has only started to appear in the
literature relatively recently (e.g., Eriksen & Jensen, 2006; Hoffman, Kiecolt, & Edwards,

MEASUREMENT OF SIBLING VIOLENCE 4
2005; Kettery & Emery, 2006; Linares, 2005; Pike, Kretschmer, & Dunn, 2009; Raffaelli,
1992).
As a result of these studies, the prevalence of intentional ISV is being recognized in
academic research (e.g., Finklehor et al., 2006; Khan & Cooke, 2008), and theoretical
frameworks which draw from evolutionary (Archer, 2012), feminist, conflict, and social
learning theories (Hoffman & Edwards, 2004) as well as macro-systems analysis, family
stress and social resource models (Eriksen & Jensen, 2009), have been applied to explain the
motives underpinning sibling violence. However, the patterns and degree of severity for
specific acts of ISV have not been established in the sibling violence literature to date
(Eriksen & Jensen, 2009). These are important aspects of ISV severity to evaluate. An
enhanced understanding of the dynamics underlying different sub-types of violence should
lead to clearer research findings and better focused risk management strategies (Cooke,
Michie, De Brito, Hodgins, & Sparkes, 2011; Kingsbury, Lambert, & Hendrickse, 1997).
The classification of violent behavior according to severity is already a topic of debate
in both the aggression literature (e.g., Michie & Cooke, 2006) and the legal literature (e.g.,
Kenny & Press, 2006). Often this is because research does not explicitly distinguish between
milder and more serious acts of violence. A frequently used measure in family violence
research, the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS, Straus, 1979; 1990), for example, is criticized for
employing formulaic classifications to differentiate “minorand “severe” violence (Dobash,
Dobash, Wilson, & Daly, 2005). However, empirical evidence supports the differentiation of
mild from severe marital violence using the CTS (see Barling, O’Leary, Jouriles, Vivian, &
MacEwan, 1987; Hornung, McCollough, & Sugimoto, 1981). Pan, Neidig, and O’Leary
(1994) initially criticized this severity differentiation due to the low levels of physical
aggression exhibited by couples employed in these samples. Subsequently, Pan et al.
established a distinction between mild (e.g., “threatened to hit or throw something”, and

Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
Neil Tippett1, Dieter Wolke1Institutions (1)
TL;DR: The link with peer bullying suggests that school anti-bullying efforts should also take account of children's sibling relationships, and parenting behavior showed the strongest relationship: harsh parenting increased the risk of sibling aggression while positive parenting protected against it.
Abstract: Sibling aggression is a common form of intra-familial aggression, yet has been largely neglected by research. Using an inclusive measure of sibling aggression, this study investigated, firstly, prevalence of sibling aggression and associations with family and household characteristics, and secondly, the relationship between sibling aggression and peer bullying. Participants were 4,237 adolescents from Wave 1 of Understanding Society. Four types of sibling aggression were measured: physical, verbal, stealing and teasing, and combined into composite measures of victimization and perpetration. Regression analysis identified associations with demographic characteristics, family and sibling composition, parent-child relationships and socioeconomic status and explored the link between sibling aggression and involvement in peer bullying. Using a broad definition, sibling aggression was found to be widespread, with 46% of all participants being victimized and 36% perpetrating aggression. Household and family characteristics, including a large family size, male siblings, and financial difficulties were associated with greater rates of sibling aggression. Parenting behavior showed the strongest relationship: harsh parenting increased the risk of sibling aggression while positive parenting protected against it. Sibling aggression was also homotypically related to involvement in peer bullying. Victimization by siblings significantly increased the odds of being a victim of peer bullying, and perpetrators of sibling aggression were more likely to be both peer bullies and bully-victims. Considering the adverse effects of sibling aggression on physical and mental health, the study provides pointers for efforts to reduce the risk of sibling aggression. Furthermore, the link with peer bullying suggests that school anti-bullying efforts should also take account of children's sibling relationships. Aggr. Behav. 41:14-24, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

104 citations


Cites background from "Measurement of Sibling Violence A T..."

  • ...…features, such as the need to incorporate concepts of intent or repetition into the definition (Khan & Cooke, 2013), and whether behavior should be categorized according to severity to distinguish between mild and more severe forms of sibling aggression (Eriksen & Jensen, 2009; Khan & Cooke, 2013)....

    [...]

  • ...…debates concerning key definitional and operational features, such as the need to incorporate concepts of intent or repetition into the definition (Khan & Cooke, 2013), and whether behavior should be categorized according to severity to distinguish between mild and more severe forms of sibling…...

    [...]

  • ...Aggression between siblings is one of the most commonly occurring forms of aggression within families (Khan & Cooke, 2013; Straus, Gelles, & Steinmetz, 1980, p. 83) but is often viewed as harmless or as a normal part of family life (Eriksen & Jensen, 2009; Skinner & Kowalski, 2013)....

    [...]

  • ...…Jensen, 2009; Skinner & Kowalski, 2013); however, recently there appears to be a renewed interest in the subject, marked by attempts to more clearly define and document the extent of aggression among siblings (e.g. Khan & Cooke, 2013; Tucker, Finkelhor, Shattuck, et al., 2013; Wolke & Skew, 2012)....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Dieter Wolke1, Neil Tippett1, Slava Dantchev1Institutions (1)
TL;DR: The link between sibling and peer bullying suggests interventions need to start at home, and health professionals should ask about sibling bullying and interventions are needed for families to prevent and reduce the health burden associated with sibling bullying.
Abstract: Sibling relationships have a substantial and lasting effect on children's development. Many siblings experience some occasional conflict, however, up to 40% are exposed to sibling bullying every week, a repeated and harmful form of intrafamilial aggression. We review evidence on the precursors, factors relating to peer bullying, and mental health consequences of sibling bullying. Parenting quality and behaviour are the intrafamilial factors most strongly associated with bullying between siblings. Sibling bullying increases the risk of being involved in peer bullying, and is independently associated with concurrent and early adult emotional problems, including distress, depression, and self-harm. The effects appear to be cumulative, with those children bullied by both siblings and peers having highly increased emotional problems compared with those bullied by siblings or peers only, probably because they have no safe place to escape from bullying. The link between sibling and peer bullying suggests interventions need to start at home. Health professionals should ask about sibling bullying and interventions are needed for families to prevent and reduce the health burden associated with sibling bullying.

85 citations




Journal ArticleDOI
Roxanne Khan1, Paul Rogers1Institutions (1)
TL;DR: The extent to which perceptions of SV differ from those of other types of interpersonal violence is investigated, with males deemed the assault less severe and the victim more culpable than did females and results were discussed in the context of SV normalization.
Abstract: Despite its pervasive and detrimental nature, sibling violence (SV) remains marginalized as a harmless and inconsequential form of familial aggression. The present study investigates the extent to which perceptions of SV differ from those of other types of interpersonal violence. A total of 605 respondents (197 males, 408 females) read one of four hypothetical physical assault scenarios that varied according to perpetrator-victim relationship type (i.e., sibling vs. dating partner vs. peer vs. stranger) before completing a series of 24 attribution items. Respondents also reported on their own experiences of interpersonal violence during childhood. Exploratory factor analysis reduced 23 attribution items to three internally reliable factors reflecting perceived assault severity, victim culpability, and victim resistance ratings. A 4 × 2 MANCOVA-controlling for respondent age-revealed several significant effects. Overall, males deemed the assault less severe and the victim more culpable than did females. In addition, the sibling assault was deemed less severe compared to assault on either a dating partner or a stranger, with the victim of SV rated just as culpable as the victim of dating, peer, or stranger-perpetrated violence. Finally, respondents with more (frequent) experiences of childhood SV victimization perceived the hypothetical SV assault as being less severe, and victim more culpable, than respondents with no SV victimization. Results are discussed in the context of SV normalization. Methodological limitations and applications for current findings are also outlined.

37 citations


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