While research has examined sibling conflict with families in India (Buist et al., 2017), to date, no research has examined physical and emotional sibling violence (SV) in a sample of South Asian immigrants. Nor has research been conducted which examines the influence of SV on other types of family violence among South Asian immigrants. This research begins the understanding of instances of SV in a sample of South Asian immigrants as well as the association of SV with other types of family violence.
To address this gap in the research, a subset of participants (n=674) who had at least one sibling in childhood were pulled from a larger sample (N=974) of South Asian immigrants. These respondents were obtained from a survey distributed on multiple sub-Reddit pages targeting South Asian immigrants. Along with demographic items, participants were asked to respond to questions focusing on experiences with SV (perpetration and victimization of physical and emotional), adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), intimate partner violence (IPV), and In-law abuse (IA). Along with frequencies of the demographics, correlations were run for all types of violence, and two regression models were run to examine potential associations of SV on IPV and IA when controlling for demographic variables and ACEs.
Participants had a mean age of 28.38 years, 42.3% were female, 38.9% were 1st generation immigrants, and 79.1% identified as heterosexual. Correlations between all types of violence (SV, ACEs, IPV, IA) were significant at p<.001. No differences were found on differences in types of violence by gender. For IPV, the model was significant (F=465.73, p<0.001, R2=.82) with gender (p=.015), SV (p<.001), ACEs (p=.01), and IA (p<.001) significantly associated one’s experiences of IPV. For IA, the model was significant (F=459.69, p<0.001, R2=.82) with generation status (p=.043), SV (p<.001), ACEs (p=.02), and IA (p<.001) significantly associated one’s experiences of IA. For the IA model, while gender was technically not significant, it did approach significance (p=.053).
While directional associations between the types of violence in this study should be held tentative, with SV preceding IPV and IA in time, results of this study demonstrate the need to include SV in understanding the violent experiences of South Asian immigrants, which has not been done previously. SV was correlated with all other types of violence and was associated with IPV and IA in this sample. Furthermore, results indicate that SV needs to be examined along with factors such as gender and generation status to better understand the influence and interactions on the types of violence South Asian immigrants may experience. Practitioners working with SA immigrant populations should consider including SV in their assessments to ensure all potential forms of violence that one may experience are accounted for. Finally, psychoeducation of SV among South Asian immigrants is also warranted to inform individuals of the potential ramifications of SV for children, adults, and families.