While having siblings, in general, can have its ups and downs, there seem to be some pretty positive sides to having a sister specifically. Perhaps you should be thanking your sister for things you’re not necessarily even aware of. 

According to a study published in 2010, having a sister can make you feel better overall and help with your mental health on a very deep level. These findings coming from Brigham Young University and noting that siblings matter in ‘unique ways.’ Apparently siblings overall especially sisters are able to give one another things that parents are not able to.

A summary of the findings from Science Daily goes as follows:

Summary:Having a sister protects young teens from feeling lonely, unloved, guilty, self-conscious and fearful. Researchers studied 395 families from Seattle with two or more children. At least one child in each family was between ages 10-14. The research found that affectionate siblings have positive influences on each other no matter their age, gender, or how many years they are apart.

While having a sibling regardless of gender and a good relationship with them can promote good deeds and be quite strong when you have a sister you gain that plus also learn to resolve conflicts better and how to nurture others on a more positive level. For their study, these researchers looked at almost four hundred different families consisting of multi-children households after looking into the family dynamic as a whole of each and breaking things down they followed up with each one a year later. 

In doing this they found that statistically having a sister protected adolescents from feeling lonely, unloved, guilty, and even gave them a confidence boost. Whether the sister was younger or older it did not matter, the benefits were quite clear. Sure, siblings do fight sometimes but for the most part, they also help one another grow and have each other’s backs when needed.

BYU wrote as follows on the topic after these findings came out:

The study found that having a loving sibling of either gender promoted good deeds, such as helping a neighbor or watching out for other kids at school. In fact, loving siblings fostered charitable attitudes more than loving parents did. The relationship between sibling affection and good deeds was twice as strong as that between parenting and good deeds.

“For parents of younger kids, the message is to encourage sibling affection,” said Padilla-Walker. “Once they get to adolescence, it’s going to be a big protective factor.”

Many parents justifiably worry about the seemingly endless fighting between siblings. The study found hostility was indeed associated with a greater risk of delinquency. Yet Padilla-Walker also sees a silver lining in the data: The fights give children a chance to learn how to make up and to regain control of their emotions, skills that come in handy down the road.

“An absence of affection seems to be a bigger problem than high levels of conflict,” Padilla-Walker said.

From Science Daily:

Something about having a sister — even a little sister — makes 10- to 14-year-olds a bit less likely to feel down in the dumps.

That’s one of several intriguing findings from a new study on the impact siblings have on one another. Brigham Young University professor Laura Padilla-Walker is the lead author on the research, which also sorts out the influence of siblings and the influence of parents within families.

“Even after you account for parents’ influence, siblings do matter in unique ways,” said Padilla-Walker, who teaches in BYU’s School of Family Life. “They give kids something that parents don’t.”

Padilla-Walker’s research stems from BYU’s Flourishing Families Projectand will appear in the August issue of the Journal of Family Psychology. The study included 395 families with more than one child, at least one of whom was an adolescent between 10 and 14 years old. The researchers gathered a wealth of information about each family’s dynamic, then followed up one year later. Statistical analyses showed that 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 agewise.

Brothers mattered, too. The study found that having a loving sibling of either gender promoted good deeds, such as helping a neighbor or watching out for other kids at school. In fact, loving siblings fostered charitable attitudes more than loving parents did. The relationship between sibling affection and good deeds was twice as strong as that between parenting and good deeds.

“For parents of younger kids, the message is to encourage sibling affection,” said Padilla-Walker. “Once they get to adolescence, it’s going to be a big protective factor.”

Many parents justifiably worry about the seemingly endless fighting between siblings. The study found hostility was indeed associated with greater risk of delinquency. Yet Padilla-Walker also sees a silver lining in the data: The fights give children a chance to learn how to make up and to regain control of their emotions, skills that come in handy down the road.

“An absence of affection seems to be a bigger problem than high levels of conflict,” Padilla-Walker said.

If you and your siblings have a positive relationship you will be able to grow with one another and benefit drastically. When we have siblings we gain a support system that is much stronger than that of the support of just our parents. We have people who are going through similar things to us, and we have someone to go to when we need to talk. If you and your siblings have a good connection with one another you should probably remind them of how much they mean to you, without them you probably would not be who you are today at this moment.

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