Sibling Aggression and Abuse Research and Advocacy Initiative (SAARA)

Brothers fighting in Leaves

Sibling aggression is the most common form of family violence.  While peer bullying and peer victimization are widely recognized, more children are actually victimized by a sibling. National surveys show that about one-third of children age 0-17 experienced sibling aggression in the past year including: hitting, biting, kicking, with or without injury, repeated name calling, intimidation, harassment, and property destruction.

Sibling aggression and abuse, sometimes referred to as sibling bullying, violence, perpetration, and victimization, are often unrecognized and equated to sibling rivalry or benign normal behavior. Some is of minor consequence, but much has negative developmental impact. Numerous studies have linked sibling aggression and abuse to worse mental and physical health and problematic interpersonal relationships with parents, peers, and romantic partners.

The Sibling Aggression and Abuse Research and Advocacy Initiative was created to promote awareness of sibling aggression and abuse and provide guidance for how to prevent and reduce their occurrences.

This initiative grows out of calls for increased awareness of sibling victimization given its pervasiveness and harmfulness.