In an effort to make their teenagers more independent, some parents expect siblings to work out their differences among themselves, but a recent study by researchers at the University of Missouri, Columbia suggests that some parental interventions should take place.  A summary of the study’s outcomes is described in an article, “Sibling Squabbles Can Lead to Depression, Anxiety,” on the Science Daily website.

One researcher, Nicole Campione-Barr, noted “that conflicts about violations of personal space and property are associated with greater anxiety and lower self-esteem one year later in life.”  Campione-Barr asserts further “conflicts over issues of equality and fairness are correlated to greater depression one year later.”

In keeping with previous research findings by others that parents should not arbitrate disagreements among their adolescent children, there are some interventions that parents can make:

  • Set up household rules such as “Knock before entering a sibling’s room”
  • A calendar of chores and defined time limits for turns with a video game can help reduce conflicts over fairness
  • Seek professional help if most sibling interactions become intense conflicts, especially if violence is involved.

Here are some more ideas about reducing sibling rivalry [4:42]: