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Study Says Having a Sister Makes You More Optimistic, Kinder, and Happier

posted: 12/20/17
by: Amanda Mushro
Photo of two cute twins walking along a forest road
iStock

Having a sister can really come in handy. In my family, I'm the one that is always in charge of buying gifts for my parents and remembering birthdays and special occasions. Sisters are also great for holding on to every single one of your embarrassing moments and reminding you that at any time, she can release those stories. Gift buying and secret keeping aside, researchers are now saying that having a sister can be good for your health.

According to a study from De Montfort University and Ulster University, having a sister makes you happier, kinder and more optimistic. For the study, researchers interviewed over 570 young people between the ages of 17 and 25 to examine and assess them in terms of happiness and overall mental health. From the researcher that found that having a sister really changed the dynamic of their happiness.

"It could be that boys have a natural tendency not to talk about things," said lead author Professor Tony Cassidy tells The Telegraph. "With boys together it is about a conspiracy of silence not to talk. Girls tend to break that down."

It seems sibling rivalry with a sister can be good for kids because the study also said that growing up with at least one girl in the family also makes people more able to cope with their problems. This could be that sisters are more likely to talk about their grievances with siblings. "Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families," Cassidy says. "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 found that girls who had sisters tended to be more independent and achievement orientated. Researchers noted the effects were stronger among children from broken homes and said that this suggests that sisters lean on each other more for support when parents divorce.

So while your sister may drive you crazy sometimes, turns out having her around is actually a pretty good thing.