Aug 6, 2010

Posted by in Articles, Health & Wellness | 2 Comments

The Positive Power of Sibling Relationships

The Positive Power of Sibling Relationships

A new study from Brigham Young University finds that positive sibling relationships have an array of benefits for children. Professors Laura Padilla-Walker and James Harper found that positive relationships between siblings (regardless of the age difference between them) defend against depression, lower the risk of delinquency, and promote pro-social behaviors such as kindness and empathy. Sisters, in particular, were especially good at guarding against depression, perhaps because they often talk more than boys and can act as a sounding board. The study also found that siblings’ influence on each other can be twice as important as parents’ during the period of age 10-14.

Before you fret that your children’s fighting might make them ineligible for such positive effects, Professor Padilla-Walker notes that clashes may happen between siblings with positive relationships, but “the real concern is a lack of affection that goes beyond the daily squabbles.” If your children are able to move on from disagreements and display real affection for each other, there is no need to worry. And now, in times of crisis, you can remind your children that research shows that their sibling may be the greatest gift you ever gave them!

  1. Christian Camp says:

    Ain’t that the truth. Having had a remarkably well-grounded, intelligent, caring, and compasionate sister, I can attest to the importance siblings play in our development. I can’t imagine life without a sibling to share the journey with.

  2. Hey thanks, Christian! I have to say my brother rocks too! And I agree that I can’t imagine life without him. xo, Ali

Leave a Reply