The effects of abusive sibling conflict on self esteem
Kannegaard, Mary Elizabeth
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between the acceptance and use of violence in the family environment, violent conflict between siblings, and self esteem. Acceptance and use of violence in the family environment was measured with the Family Violence Scale developed by Panos D. Bardis. The use of violent sibling conflict between siblings was assessed using the Conflict Tactics Scale developed by Murray Straus. Self esteem was measured using the Self Esteem Inventory which was developed by Stanley Coopersmith. Participant in the study were 150 college students at Montana State University. Volunteers were between 18 and 20 years of age with at least one sibling. Results indicated a significant relationship between the acceptance and use of violence in the home and violent conflict between siblings. A significant relationship was also found between violent sibling conflict and lower self esteem. In looking at male and female respondent separately it was found that violent sibling conflict was negatively related to the self esteem of male respondents and positively related to the self esteem of female respondents. Implications of this study were relevant for parents and professionals who work with families and/or children with problems stemming from low self esteem. The findings are also relevant to the prevention of child abuse.