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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 142-147

“Bullying in Incognito Mode”: The evolution of sibling bullying

1 Department of Psychiatry, St. John's Medical College and Hospital, St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bengaluru, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College and Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysuru, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Command Hospital (Eastern Command), Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Suhas Chandran
Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, St. John's Medical College and Hospital, St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bengaluru
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_44_18

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Sibling bullying, the lesser known counterpart of bullying is an unexplored entity, but the little research that exists has shown that it is almost as common as bullying by peers. Personality factors, interpersonal relationships, home environments and parental styles influence the development of bullying behaviors. The normalisation of certain actions by parents may lead to many bullying behaviours going unnoticed. In these cases, the feeling of security usually attached to the familial context is also lost in the victims. It has also been noted to spill over into other environments such as peer bullying and other modes, like cyber bullying. In addition to this arises the bully-victim situation, where the victim becomes the perpetrator, leading to a self propagating vicious cycle. The long term consequences include a higher risk for depression, anxiety, emotional dysregulation and even antisocial behaviour. In fact, multiple neurobiological correlates have also been established, such as alteration in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, raised C-reactive protein levels and abnormal immune functions. To prevent these long term adverse effects, interventions should be initiated early, starting with parental guidance and sensitisation, peer support groups and anti bullying programs in schools.

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