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More siblings means less chance of divorce as adult

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Posted August 13, 2013

Growing up with siblings may provide some protection against divorce as an adult, a new nationwide study reveals.

And the more siblings, the better: Each additional sibling a person has (up to about seven) reduces the likelihood of divorce by 2 percent.

The practical difference between having no siblings and having one or two isn’t that much in terms of divorce, said Doug Downey, co-author of the study and professor of sociology at The Ohio State University.

“But when you compare children from large families to those with only one child, there is a meaningful gap in the probability of divorce,” he said.

One of the biggest surprises of the study was that it wasn’t the difference between being an only child and having siblings that was significant.

“We expected that if you had any siblings at all, that would give you the experience with personal relationships that would help you in marriage,” said Donna Bobbitt-Zeher, co-author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State’s Marion campus.

“But we found that the real story appears to be how family dynamics change incrementally with the addition of each sibling. More siblings means more experience dealing with others, and that seems to provide additional help in dealing with a marriage relationship as an adult.”

Read more at: Phys.org

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