Science says having a sister is actually good for your mental health

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If you happen to have a sister or you are someone’s sister then both of you may be having a greater impact on your lives than you were aware. Research has shown that having a sister makes you a better person. 

While growing up with a sister may not have always been the happiest of times, especially if your sister was older than you, the endless lines of ‘wisdom’, made for a very dramatic household.

A recent study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University discovered having a sibling encouraged children to be more helpful and kind.

Apparently if you have a sister regardless of the age gap or whether she’s younger or older than you, its better.

Study showed the benefits

Having a sister protected adolescents from feeling lonely, unloved, guilty, self-conscious and fearful. It didn’t matter whether the sister was younger or older, or how far apart the siblings were age wise,” the study said.

Included in the study were 395 parents with at least 2 children, one of whom was 10 to 14 years old.  12 months later researchers then followed up with each family to confirm the findings.

Adolescents with sister showed clear benefits.

Sisters help with our development because they communicate more than boys which helps when we need to talk about problems.

The study also offers advice for parents, one important piece being to encourage your children to be affectionate toward each other.

Protective factor

According to Laura Padilla-Walker, a Brigham Young University professor and the lead author on the research, “Once they get to adolescence, it’s going to be a big protective factor.”

Padilla-Walker says it’s okay for your kids to fight as it helps them to manage their emotions and learn how to make up.

Padilla-Walker adds, “An absence of affection seems to be a bigger problem than high levels of conflict.”

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