Dynamics of Scapegoating in Family Systems


  • Margaret Helen U. Alvarez Silliman University
  • Nelly Z. Limbadan Ateneo de Davao University


sibling roles, scapegoat, identified patient, family myths, Filipino family


This paper concerns sibling roles in family systems, with a focus on the child frequently singled out for disfavor. Eleven Filipino adults were interviewed on family myths and rules, the child who frequently fails to follow such rules, and the behavior and subsequent interaction between family members. Results indicated that this sibling was usually preferred or favored by one or the other of the parents (i.e., parental tolerance), resulting in sibling conflict, the issue usually revolving around a sense of entitlement, responsibility, and financial matters. Some implications for educators, psychologists, and parents include: 1) the importance of nongenetic influences on development; 2) the shift from a family-byfamily frame of reference to an individual-by-individual perspective within the family as critical for clinicians; and, 3) the usefulness to parents of acknowledging that differential appreciation is more likely to help their children than preferential treatment.




How to Cite

Alvarez, M. H. U., & Limbadan, N. Z. (2022). Dynamics of Scapegoating in Family Systems. Silliman Journal, 57(3). Retrieved from https://sillimanjournal.su.edu.ph/index.php/sj/article/view/72