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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 228-230

Using drama therapy as an effective intervention for bullying among siblings

1 Department of Pediatrics, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, Punjab, India
2 Dr. BR Ambedkar State Institute of Medical Sciences, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Prahbhjot Malhi
Department of Pediatrics, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Sector 12, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipcares.ipcares_295_21

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Background: Sibling bullying is repetitive aggressive behavior that is motivated by the desire to dominate and incite distress on the victims. It is a hidden epidemic, with nearly 50% of children being victimized sometime in their lives. Since this is associated with adverse consequences for victims and abusers, it requires prompt recognition, evaluation, and management. Clinical Description: We present three families of sibling bullying. Comprehensive individual in-depth interviews (individual and group) were conducted by a team of professionals. The goal was to understand the psychological impact on the children, the family dynamics, and underlying psychosocial issues. Common factors identified were inadvertent positive reinforcement of bullying by parental inability to set limits to the abuser's aggression, failure to model respectful communication, and lack of using appropriate conflict resolution strategies. Management and Outcome: Drama therapy was used as the primary modality of intervention. This involved putting families in hypothetical situations in which they reenacted a bullying incident. Family members played various roles interchangeably in multiple sessions. The role-plays and ensuing discussions created awareness of the adverse effects of sibling bullying on the entire family. This coupled with instruction on positive disciplining and use of conflict resolution and anger management strategies resulted in a gradual decline in bullying. Conclusions: Sibling bullying can be effectively managed by strategies that promote positive interpersonal relationships. Pediatricians need to recognize cases of sibling bullying and consider referral to mental health professionals for evaluation and appropriate management.

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