The first Sunday of August marks Sisters’ Day, a day where we celebrate those wonderful, tormenting, beautiful, horrible, helpful and annoying girls we grew up with. Perhaps you squabbled with your sister while growing up (and perhaps you still do!), but the science has spoken – sisters are good for you. Here’s how.
Sisters improve your psychological well-being
Having a sister, regardless of age difference and whether she is older or younger, has a far stronger influence than even parents in lowering depression.
Sisters help reduce negative emotions
Adolescents with sisters are less likely to feel lonely, unloved, fearful, guilty or self-conscious. They are also more likely to feel loved.
Sisters make you nicer
Sisters can significantly impact on the kindness of adolescents. While brothers can also have a positive influence, the presence of a sister is more likely to promote harmony.
Having a sister means you’re less likely to divorce
Well actually, any sibling. Research from Ohio State University shows that each additional sibling that you have decreases your likelihood of divorce. This could be attributed to the presence of siblings necessitating the development of communication and conflict resolution skills.
Sisters promote family bonding
The presence of a girl in the family appears to be associated with open communication and family cohesion, with boys having the opposite effect.
Sisters make you more independent and achievement-oriented
Girls with sisters tended to be more independent and goal-oriented. This effect is stronger among kids from single parent homes, which suggests that sisters might lean on each other during family separation.
Having a sister helps guys relate better to women
Sensitivity and listening skills are better in men with sisters. A study simulating a speed dating type situation found that men who grew up with sisters fared better than those who did not. This is a two-way street, with women who had brothers doing better with men.