Mind & Body

Got Younger Siblings? Your Health May Be Better Off

If you have siblings, they may have driven you nuts for at least some parts of your life. But according to recent research, you should feel thankful for having to put up with them.

Sister Act, Brother Bond

A study led by researchers at the University of Michigan found that gaining a younger sibling between the ages of two and six years old is associated with a healthier BMI than those who didn't gain a sibling in this time. Of the 697 children in this study, the kids without a sibling were almost three times more likely to be obese by the first grade.

The benefits don't stop there. When a new sibling enters the picture, the older sibling becomes more socially adept by interacting with the younger. And the younger sibling gains cognitively by imitating the older. Navigating conflict with your siblings in childhood helps prepare you to deal with higher-stakes conflict in the workforce.

You can also thank a sibling of the opposite gender for giving you an edge in the dating world. College students who have an opposite-sex sibling have an easier time chatting up potential romantic partners.

So, yes, your little brother or sister could have been a huge pain when they broke your toys and ate more than their fair share of pizza, but having them around helped make you a better person.

Siblings Actually Make You Happier

Written by Curiosity Staff August 20, 2017

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