Perilous Rivalry: When Siblings Become Abusive by Vernon R. Wiehe & Teresa Herring

One of the original books on the subject of sibling violence originally published in 1991. Perilous Rivalry: When Siblings Become Abusive by Vernon R. Wiehe and Teresa Herring is available used on for as little as $2.76 used and $11.75 new.

From Vernon Wiehe, Ph.D.

“In 1975 a national study was conducted in the United States on violence in the family. This research found that siblings were the most violent members of American families. Their rates of violence toward each other, that we identify now as “sibling abuse,” was far greater than violence between parents that we label “spouse abuse” or violence of parents toward children that we call “child abuse.” However, no social movement has developed as an effort to eradicate sibling abuse. National legislation was passed to cope with child abuse; the feminist movement has worked to bring to the forefront and prevent spouse abuse, and various groups advocating for senior citizens are working to stop elder abuse. Sibling abuse, however, has largely been ignored or excused as sibling rivalry. Sibling rivalry is normal and occurs in all families in which there is more than one child. Sibling abuse is not normal and can have devastating effects on the victims.”

“Several years ago I conducted a study involving 150 adults who were seeking help from mental health professionals for problems-in-living that they felt in part stemmed from the physical, emotional or sexual abuse they experienced from a sibling as they were growing up. The problems for which they were seeking help included poor self-esteem, drug and alcohol abuse, depression and problems in interpersonal relationships, to name just a few. The results of the study made me aware of the serious consequences of sibling rivalry that gets out of control and becomes sibling abuse. The results prompted me to write several books for mental health professionals. . .”

Perilous Rivalry: When Siblings Become Abusive at

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