Mind and Body

Growing up with more siblings may reduce divorce risk

For every extra sibling a person has (up to seven), his or her risk for divorce decreases by 2 percent, Nature World News reported.

In a study being presented August 13 at the 108th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, researchers gathered data from the General Society Survey, a compilation of interviews with 57,000 adults between 1972 and 2012. Based on the results, they found that people from larger families have a decreased risk for divorce, possibly because they are better equipped to deal with the stress of marriage compared to children from smaller families.

"Growing up in a family with siblings, you develop a set of skills for negotiating both negative and positive interactions. You have to consider other people's points of view (and) learn how to talk through problems,” Doug Downey, co-author of the study and a professor of sociology at Ohio State University, told Nature World News.

“The more siblings you have, the more opportunities you have to practice those skills," he added.

Additionally, researchers said that people from smaller families may be more likely to have been raised by a single parent growing up, or they may have experienced other issues that could impact a child’s future relationships.

However, some experts remain unconvinced that only children today are at a disadvantage when it comes to marriage.

"We're not in the 1950s, where (an only child) might live in a household and mom might stay home and you'd interact all day with an adult. No kids do that anymore," sociologist S. Philip Morgan, director of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill told USA Today. "There are lots of opportunities to gain interpersonal skills.”

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