People with more brothers and sisters are less likely to divorce than only children or those with one or two siblings, suggests a new study that looks at the effect siblings may have on divorce in adulthood.
Each additional sibling a person has (up to about seven) reduces the likelihood of divorce by 2%, finds the analysis, based on data from 57,061 adults in the General Social Survey, collected between 1972 and 2012.
“There are a lot of other factors that affect divorce that are more important than how many siblings you had. However, we’re finding that the number of siblings is a factor,” says Ohio State University sociologist Doug Downey, a co-author of the study. It is being presented Tuesday at a meeting of the American Sociological Association in New York City. “Each additional sibling reduces their chances of divorce a little bit.”
The authors suggest that siblings further the development of social skills useful in navigating marriage.