Think your sister is annoying? I'm not talking about your fellow sorority sisters; this is strictly blood. These are the ones you tattle on and tease.
If you can set aside your differences and think about your quarrelsome relationship with a female sibling, a new study from De Montfort University and Ulster University could make you change your perception and embrace the gift that a sister brings into the family.
The study claims that having a sister in a family promotes happiness, but having a brother is not as effective.
Whether you subscribe to this point of view or not, it's only relative.
The research interviewed 571 young people from different circumstantial backgrounds, aged 17 to 25, and questioned them on their family upbringing.
Tony Cassidy, from the University of Ulster, believes that sisters bring optimism into the family, saying, "Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families. However, brothers seem to have the alternative effect. Emotional expression is fundamental to good psychological health and having sisters promotes this in families."
The study also showed those who come from broken homes often lean on each other for support and can cope with emotional childhood traumas like having divorced parents.
Prof. Cassid said the study among brothers resulted in lower scores. "It could be that boys have a natural tendency not to talk about things," he said. "With boys together it is about a conspiracy of silence not to talk. Girls tend to break that down."
When the study was conducted on children, however, the results skewed towards the middle of the optimism and happiness spectrum.
A co-author of the research, Liz Wright, said, "With only children, we found that they had lots of strong communication outside of the home. It appears that they have as much social support as those with siblings, but it does not come from within the family."
Having a brother still yields happiness as long as the relationship is still loving. According to the ABC News, Laura Padilla-Walker, a professor in Brigham Young University's School of Family Life, said, "Sibling affection from either gender was related to less delinquency and more pro-social behaviors like greater kindness and generosity, volunteering and helping others."
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