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ISU study looks at ways to reduce sibling rivalries

For everyone who has a brother or sister, you know how easy it was to get in a fight with them. At Idaho State University, a study is looking at different ways of reducing sibling rivalries.

The study is being conducted through ISU’s Psychology Clinic by clinical psychology doctoral student Stephanie Babitt.

Families who participate need to have children ages four through 11. They will be introduced to a motivational or skill-building approach to decrease sibling aggression. The motivational approach is the traditional one where children are rewarded or disciplined depending on their behavior. The skill-building approach teaches children social skills like taking turns and asking things politely.

Babitt is seeing if the skill-building approach would be as effective at the other one in helping decrease aggression.

“We don’t use any motivational tools at all (in the skill-building approach),” said Babitt. “We just teach the kids the skills and see if the skills are enough to lower the aggression rates.”

Besides reducing sibling aggression, Babitt also said the study is looking at children who can benefit from skill-building.

As far as a time commitment, the study asks for families to come into the clinic for about an hour once a week for seven weeks.

If you’re interested in participating, you can call the clinic at 208-282-2129.

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