Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Alan R. King


Sibling abuse, as a potential contributor to lifetime aggression, is under-represented in the childhood maltreatment literature and minimized in American society. A contemporary survey study conducted using a large college sample (King et al., 2017) established significant relationships between sibling abuse (i.e., acts of physical abuse, threats of violence, and heated verbal conflict) and a range of lifetime aggression indicators after controlling for variance attributable to physical, sexual, intimate partner, and peer abuse. The present study examined sibling physical abuse and established these same relationships using a national sample after controlling for variance due to childhood physical abuse, observed violence between parents, peer bullying, childhood emotional abuse, and childhood sexual abuse. Acts of sibling physical abuse occurring as infrequently as once a year were associated with increased conduct disorder symptoms, trait hostility, and legal consequences for acts of violence. Further, the present study drew specific attention to the heightened impact of sibling physical abuse perpetrated by a younger sibling as opposed to an older sibling in relation to conduct disorder symptoms, Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire subscale scores, and Lifetime Assessment of Violent Acts index scores. Overall, these results indicate that sibling physical abuse warrants careful consideration in the childhood maltreatment literature, especially if perpetrated by a younger sibling.