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

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. Studies have shown that a sister makes you a better person.

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 by researchers at Brigham Young University found that having a sibling encouraged children to be more helpful and kind.

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

The 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.

The study included 395 parents with at least 2 children, one of whom was 10 to 14 years old. Twelve 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 to parents. An important element is 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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