Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day: Positive Impact of Siblings on Divorce Rate

Here's one my greatest pieces of gratitude to my mom from myself (and the mother of my own children). Thanks for having so many kids:
Researcher Doug Downey observed adults who grew up as an only child were least likely to marry. Those who did marry were the most at risk for divorce than adults who grew up with at least one sibling.  
Adults who grew up with one or two siblings, that is in a family of four or five total, had pretty much similar divorce rates. 
While there were only minimal divorce-prevention gains with family size of up to three siblings, in families with four to seven siblings lower divorce rates in adulthood were pronounced.
In fact, with 7 Brookie kids, my parents hit the number just right! Here's one guess on why:
children who grow up with multiple siblings have more opportunities to learn how to negotiate differences. They've had to learn how to live harmoniously with others
They not only have to learn to deal with the bad, they get more good:
In large families younger children receive loving attention from not just two parents but many older siblings as well. If they fall down, many hands reach down to help them up. If they aim to accomplish a goal, whether it’s learning to throw a ball or succeeding at a school athletic event, many sibs are there to coach and assist them, and many voices then chime in to celebrate their victories.
And it continues into adulthood:
When illness strikes, there’s an unexpected job loss, or grief besets adults, adult siblings can come to the rescue. Their help can lower the stress on the sibling with the problem and his her spouse.
That doesn't even count the benefits of your siblings spouses as additional siblings. With underpopulation looming, if you're able, my armchair suggestion is to have one more kid than you think you can handle, then drop what's necessary to keep your sanity. I'm not only am excited about trying to create my own clan, I'm sure the benefits 14 first cousins (more than half in town) are also measurably positive!

Bonus link: Various other correlations of divorce rates

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