IPT Book Reviews

Title: Sibling Abuse   Negative Review
Author: Vernon R. Wiehe
Publisher: D. C. Heath and Company 1990

Macmillan Publishing Company
100 Front Street
Riverside, NJ 08075
(800) 257-5755


This short (186 pages) book is written by a social work professor at the University of Kentucky.  Chapters cover physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, parental reaction, prevention, and a short chapter on distinguishing abusive behavior from normal behavior.  Although the author's research questionnaire was sent to 150 respondents, the return rate was not noted.  The book closes with a short set of footnotes and an index.


The author acknowledges sending his questionnaire to standard social agencies that deal with "victims," which limits the study's generalizability to other social service caseloads.  The author did not ask about perceived benefits to siblings, despite some research reporting neutral or positive effects.  Memory issues are not discussed even though the "victims" were not questioned until they were adults.  The effects of the abuse were determined from the retrospective memories of the respondents and the author accepts their perceptions without question.  Resiliency issues are not addressed.

At best, this book should be reduced to a short journal article and it is not recommended.

Reviewed by LeRoy Schultz, Professor of Social Work, West Virginia University.

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