Having a sister can actually benefit your mental health, study says

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If you have sisters or brothers, there may be times when you get annoyed with their antics or silly pranks but a study proves that having sisters can actually benefit your mental health.

According to a study done by researchers at Bringham Young University, having a sibling, be it a sister or a brother helps one to be more empathetic, do good deeds and help others.

While the study does not underestimate the role of parents in raising children, having a sibling can make children twice as likely for them to be helpful and kind. 

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The study adds that the benefit is even greater when the sibling is a sister. In the study, 395 families who had at least 2 children between 10 to 14 years old were observed for a year.

After a year, they found that children who had a sister demonstrate clear benefits compared to children who had a brother.

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“Statistical analyses showed that 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 agewise,” the study says.

The study suggests that as girls tend to communicate their feelings better than boys, it helps their siblings when it comes to dealing with problems.

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Girls are also found to adopt a caregiver role to their siblings and help each other to get through the adolescence stage.

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

Even when siblings fight with each other, Padilla-Walker said that it would help the children to manage their emotions and learn to make up which she said were both important life skills.

Credit: Pixabay

“An absence of affection seems to be a bigger problem than high levels of conflict,” she concluded.

Your sisters may always find a way to annoy you but who knows that they actually benefit you! Maybe it is time to thank your sisters for all the time they stand by your side.

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