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Older Brothers More Likely to Bully

Older sisters more protective of younger siblings, Italian study finds

FRIDAY, Nov. 5, 2010 (HealthDay News) -- Older brothers are more likely than older sisters to bully younger siblings, a new study finds.

Italian researchers looked at 195 children, aged 10 to 12, who had siblings that were no more than four years older or younger.

Children with older brothers were more likely to report being bullied at home. Boys were more likely to bully if they had a younger brother or sister. Older sisters were more likely to bully a sibling based on the quality of their relationship, rather than their age, according to the study.

The findings appear in the British Journal of Development Psychology.

"It's likely that older sisters are raised to be responsible and protective towards their younger siblings. Older brothers are more likely to be hierarchical and seek to dominate these relationships and maintain this with daily bullying," study author Ersilia Menesini, Universita' degli Studi Di Firenze in Florence, Italy, said in a journal news release.

More information

The U.S. Health Services and Resources Administration has more about bullying.

SOURCE: British Journal of Development Psychology, news release, Nov. 1, 2010
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