How Often Do Siblings Fight?

As children, siblings fight an average of once every 17 minutes when they are together. There are many causes for sibling fights, including jealousy, in which one child feels threatened by the love or affection shown to another; family dynamics, in which a parent shows preferential treatment or particular distance to one child; and simple personality clashes.

More facts about siblings:

  • Children as young as 18 months know how to hurt or bother their siblings, and by the time they're 3 years old, they're able to make sophisticated tactical decisions using the social rules in their family to harm their siblings.

  • About one-third of adults report feeling that their relationship with their siblings is distant or still a rivalry.

  • Out of sister/sister pairs, sister/brother pairs and brother/brother pairs, two sisters tend to have the closest relationships, and two brothers tend to be the most competitive.

  • Sibling relationships are extremely complicated and can be influenced by a wide range of factors, such as genetics, parental treatment and life experiences. Ethnic background and large generational events — such as the Great Depression or a war — also have a significant effect on sibling relationships.
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