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Sibling Rivalry: Known And Unknown Facts With Parent Involvement

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“From a young age, children are sensitive to difference in parental treatment”

Today kids are tomorrow pillars of our country. The precious gift to mankind who is most beloved and perfect in its innocence is a child. When the child grows many problems were faced by to the Parents, especially the parents who having more than one child sibling rivalry are one part of it. In India a survey was conducted, there is more than one child in the family; rivalry is unavoidable part between two children. In worldwide 30-60% of children were affected with sibling rivalry and in 2004, in childhood 190 behavioural disorders were occurred, 1,022 cases were unspecified mental disorders.1 In India, nearly 35% of total population is primary school children. Risk development of children with rivalry are – fighting and competition between two children mainly to show their talent, they feel that they are separate from their siblings, parent’s attention is unequal amount, discipline and responsiveness, child felt that their relationship with their parents are threatened by the arrival of a younger sibling, finally it results with jealousy.2 sibling rivalry is closely associated with other psychological problems of emotional and behavioral disorders. The prevalence of sibling rivalry is great impact on child development, in order to reduce their emotional and behavioral disorders later.

Research literature was reviewed with regard to sibling rivalry, its prevalence in child population and knowledge on sibling rivalry among mothers of children. A literature search was conducted with the following search terms, key words and phrases- ‘sibling rivalry’, ‘prevalence of sibling rivalry, emotional & behavioural problems’, ‘mothers knowledge, practice & attitude’, ‘Parental Empowerment Programme’. The search was performed in the following database- goggle scholar and pub med.

Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry is the competition between brothers and sisters for their parents' attention. Every child need love, affection & attention from their parents.3 Due to lack of parents knowledge on handling rivalry, they have a competitions and jealousy within siblings. Through parental education significant setback and to be concentrated as much as probable. Parents who having more than one child they struggling with sibling rivalry. The emotional disturbances between siblings is often complicated and it was influenced by some of the factors such as parental treatment, birth order and personal experiences etc.4 Nearly 4 million children between 0-5 years of age suffered from competition to their siblings, parents are neglecting a rivalry and in extreme level of rivalry and these effects leads to sibling abusing.5 The symptoms of sibling rivalry typically starts from early childhood and 20-30% of children may continue to have such type of symptoms into adulthood too.6 Particularly when children are very close in age group and with the same gender.

Signs of Sibling Rivalry

Children show some of these signs were fighting –physical and verbal injury, frustration, demanding, attention, tattling, bulling, name calling, regressive acts like thumb sucking, bed-wetting, baby talk, temper tantrums.

Older children may show these signs: arguing constantly, competing for their friends, sports with grading, taking other one objects and stealing it, playing with loved one pets or other people to irritate other one.3

Reactions to a New Baby

Sibling Rivalry is an arrival of new baby into family circumstances. Children may show;

Some of these signs: anger towards the baby (hitting, kicking, punching, biting), asking for the baby to go back in mother's tummy or back to the hospital or send back to someone’s home. Demanding more attention from parents.3

Sibling rivalry is a common problem, faced by parents who have more than one child. It usually starts after the birth of a second child and it affects both the children and parents. Parents play an important role to manage the rivalry in children. Therefore to create awareness it is essential for parents to have adequate knowledge regarding to handle sibling rivalry.

Parental Empowerment Programme (PEP)

Parental Empowerment Program (PEP) offers an opportunity to increase the support of parents to mange and to take care of their children.

  • Parents as Teachers – teaching perspective includes the discipline and building skills of their children.
  • Effective Praise – an effective praise is helps the Parents to learn more to encourage steps of right direction and to identify the positive solutions for children with some behavioural problem.
  • Preventive Teaching –set their children up for success, the Parents should learn to teach their children.
  • Corrective Teaching –Parents learn to practice pro-social alternatives for problematic behavioural children it is more importance to correct it earlier.
  • Teaching Self-Control–to identify children with emotional disturbance and want to communicate with them in a helpful manner about self control of children.
  • Teaching your child to problem solve –teaching their children is important to solve a problems among themselves is an effective with the help of parent’s guidance.
  • Setting goals through the use of charts and contracts –goals should be set prior to the children to choose their own choice to reduce the conflict between them.
  • Family Traditions and Family Meetings –importance to establish the family traditions and spending time with them.8

Sibling Rivalry among the general population- Prevalence & associated factors

A Psychiatric morbidity profiles in a child was conducted a study in Madhya Pradesh as reflected by the estimated prevalence of behavioural problem ranging from 11.82%. Several meta-analyses documented that emotional and behavioural disorders among children have an increased risk for developing sibling rivalry when compared with the children population.9

Recent data from a study was conducted in Karnataka it indicates that an emotional problem in children as reflected by the estimated prevalence ranging from 21.08%. Several meta-analyses documented that emotional disorders among children with poor academic performance have an increased risk for developing sibling rivalry compared with the child population.10

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Child abuse and neglect study was conducted in Canada (2001) a study results shows that 135,573 were approximately to the cause of sibling rivalry, they were developed child abused. Over all physical abuse rate of 22%. In this study it shows that sibling violence is the one of the most frequently occurring in forms of family violence. 11

Detect the family size, sibling rivalry among migrated population in Mexico. The study shows that 50,000 households around country it reprehensive the Mexican population it report the results revealed after the completion of a study and the results show that p value of sibling effects is > 0.088. There is major impact of Sibling Rivalry in migrated population. 12

The prevalence of behavior problem in rural area was high 98%of school going children had behaviour problem the data was obtained by parents of school going children, On the bases of structured questioner checklist of behavioural problem (Such as jealousy, school phobia, hyperactivity, Sibling Rivalry and fighting). Only 2% school going children had normal behaviour, 36% had mild behaviour problems, 57.5% had moderate behaviour problems and 5.5% of them had sever behaviour problems.13

Cases on sibling rivalry and offspring conflicts have been on the rise though hardly reported, particularly in Asian countries for fear of retribution and shame to the family. The outcomes from the reviews will highlight that increasing plight of siblings victimized or demoralized by their own family member, be it a brother or sister. 14

A study shows that relationship between parents and child were influenced by various factors, it appears between relationships of siblings. The study results revealed that the subjects agreed that more frequent interactions of negative feeling between siblings was maternal absence and correlation was drawn between quantity of time spent with children and sibling rivalry. Study finding revealed that level of significance is 0.05. Responses revealed that participants disagreed with the statement; the degree of Sibling Rivalry is impacted by working mothers.15

Sibling Rivalry- Knowledge, Practice & Attitude

A study was focused on Video assisted teaching module it was conducted in Bhopal on knowledge regarding sibling rivalry and its management among mothers. The study results represent that the significant improvement in (15.3+4.99) mean knowledge score and significant association between knowledge of mothers with their demographic variables. The study concluded that effective in improving the knowledge on Sibling Rivalry management.16

Comparative method study was conducted in Maharashtra among employed and unemployed mothers of children with behavioural problems between the age group of 1-5 years. The result reported that 66-34 % of employed mothers and 78-22 % of unemployed mothers with children as behavioural problems. The study result revealed that the absence of mothers at home leads to behavioural problems in the children.17

Among Mothers of Children between the age group of 1-5 years in selected Pediatric units of Kochi. The study reveals that 32 among 65.6 % had average knowledge regarding sibling rivalry and its prevention. 53.1% had positive attitude towards sibling rivalry was half of the parents were more in nature about sibling rivalry and its prevention. Between knowledge and attitude regarding sibling rivalry is positive correlation. In this study, it concludes that most of the parents had average knowledge was present and different views about Sibling Rivalry had for each one and its management.18

A Study on descriptive survey conducted in Mangalore among mothers of children in selected hospitals. The study result showed that 50% of mothers had inadequate knowledge and remaining 50% had moderately adequate knowledge regarding sibling rivalry. The study concluded that half of the study subjects had inadequate knowledge and remaining had moderately adequate knowledge on sibling rivalry.19

Pre experimental study was conducted in Chennai on management of sibling rivalry among mothers of children. Highly significant ‘t’ value were found to be than the table value at P Non-experimental survey was conducted in Bangalore. The study findings shows that 14% of mothers falls in adequate knowledge and 23% of mothers shows high attitude regarding management of Sibling Rivalry.67% of mothers in moderate attitude and 10% of mothers in low attitude. Pertaining the demographic variables and attitude level, statistically association was found. In this study it represents the demographic variables were influenced the level attitude among mothers.21

Parents with more than one child

Randomized controlled trial was conducted for Iranian mother to evaluate the effectiveness on stress, anxiety who have premature infants. The study results revealed Mothers in intervention group reported significantly less anxiety and less stress in the NICU after performing each phase of the Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment Programme (COPE) P value was < 0.001, whereas at this time, the level of stress in the comparison group was increased. The study was concluded that COPE is effective to reduce the anxiety and stress.22

Randomized interventional and comparative study was conducted in Hong Kong among immigrant parents of preschool children. In this study 6 sessions of Hands on parent Empowerment (HOPE) was implemented to interventional group. Results indicated significant decrease in post-intervention of child behavior problems and parenting stress and increase in social support in the intervention group, compared with the comparison group. Implications for service delivery for parents of preschool children were discussed.23

Summary of review and need for further research

From this review, it is an apparent that a study less number of studies related to sibling rivalry conducted in National and International level. Regarding Parental Empowerment Programme (PEP) with sibling rivalry studies was not done in India but internationally the study on Hands on Parent Empowerment Programme (HOPE) among mothers of preschool children to identify the behavioural problems was done. One review indicates that, behaviour problems and parenting stress and increase in social support in the intervention group. Other review says that the prevalence of emotional and behavioral problem morbidity profiles. Based on this review, existing significant association between the socio-demographic variables with Knowledge, attitude & practice among parents. This review emphasis the influence on emotional disturbances of children for their parent attention is a risk of developing sibling rivalry. This review highlights that fact of mother knowledge with more than one child, emphasis needs to be laid on the importance of parental teaching and empowering programme. Conforming assessment of knowledge, practice is best done by using a validated questionnaire.

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Sibling Rivalry: Known And Unknown Facts With Parent Involvement. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 6, 2023, from
“Sibling Rivalry: Known And Unknown Facts With Parent Involvement.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
Sibling Rivalry: Known And Unknown Facts With Parent Involvement. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 6 Dec. 2023].
Sibling Rivalry: Known And Unknown Facts With Parent Involvement [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2023 Dec 6]. Available from:
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