Having a sibling is good for you

Research finds close brothers and sisters makes you kinder – especially sisters

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Squabbling with a brother or sister is good for your health according to recent US research, and if you have a sister you’re in luck as they apparently make us nicer people.

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Growing up with at least one girl in the family home wards off feelings of loneliness, guilt and fear, research from the University of Utah has found. Although legions of little boys might disagree, having a sister is also believed to boost your self-confidence and make you more fearless.

However, little and big brothers didn’t fare too badly either, as the research, which studied over 400 families in the US, also found that affectionate siblings from either sex also had a positive influence on each other despite the age gap. “Siblings matter even more than parents do in terms of promoting being kind to others and being generous,” Dr Laura Padilla-Walker who led the research has said.

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Even the siblings who scrap with each other play a positive role within the family unit. Fighting and squabbling brothers and sisters give children the chance to learn how to make up and make amends to their relationship – a useful skill for later in life.

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