The Most Common Form of Family Violence: Sibling Aggression and Abuse
Corinna Jenkins Tucker, PhD CFLE, Director, SAARA
Tanya Rouleau Whitworth, PhD, Research Scientist, SAARA
This program has been approved for 2.0 Category A Continuing Education Credits by the National Association of Social Workers, NH Chapter. CE #4154
In this interactive session, participants will learn that sibling aggression is the most common form of family violence, but it is often minimized or dismissed. Research findings will be presented on the prevalence of sibling aggression (including variation by socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, ability, and gender), types of sibling aggression (i.e., physical, property, psychological, sexual), and the associations between sibling aggression and mental and physical health. Participants will learn how to disentangle sibling rivalry from sibling aggression and abuse (SAA). The discussion will be informed by research on perceptions of SAA among practitioners and individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Using vignettes and examples from survivor narratives, participants will discuss factors that distinguish problematic sibling aggression from more benign sibling rivalry or conflict. Additionally, participants will learn to identify features of abusive sibling relationships that indicate a need for professional intervention. Participants will be presented with strategies to stop sibling aggression and abuse, including skills that can be communicated to parents. Currently, practitioners lack formal guidance and policies to address all forms of SAA. A generative discussion will be facilitated to help formulate best practices for addressing and preventing SAA by mental and medical professionals, child welfare workers, and legal and criminal justice personnel.
1. Participants will be able to discuss the prevalence of sibling aggression and abuse and be able to name four types of sibling aggression.
2. Participants will be able to distinguish sibling rivalry from aggression and abuse and explain strategies to address each.
3. Participants will generate possible policies to be implemented to address and prevent sibling aggression and abuse.
About the Presenters
Corinna Jenkins Tucker, PhD, CFLE is the Director of the Sibling Aggression and Abuse Research and Advocacy Initiative (SAARA) at the Crimes against Children Research Center and Professor Emerita, Human Development and Family Studies, University of New Hampshire. Her primary research interests include sibling relationships, parenting, and mental health. She has a particular interest in sibling aggression and abuse experiences across the lifespan. Dr. Tucker has published extensively on sibling relationships for over 25 years, with the last 10 years focused on sibling aggression and abuse.
Tanya Rouleau Whitworth, PhD is a Research Scientist for the Sibling Aggression and Abuse Research and Advocacy Initiative (SAARA), which is located at the Crimes against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire. Her research areas include families, parenting, mental health, and sexuality, with a focus on the well-being of children and adolescents. Her work with SAARA involves spreading awareness about sibling aggression and abuse by translating scientific research for practitioners and the public, with the goal of promoting effective prevention and treatment of sibling aggression and abuse.
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